Background: Since 2013, psychologists Dr. Shauna Joye (Air Force veteran) and Dr. Zachary Dietrich (Marine Corps veteran) have partnered with Warrior Expeditions to research and publish the effects of long-term wilderness experiences on combat veterans. To view Dr. Joye’s and Dr. Dietrich’s previous published research, click Natural Medicine: Wilderness Experience Outcomes for Combat Veterans.
Methods: Each year, Warrior Expeditions veterans volunteer to complete surveys before and after their journeys to measure the program impact on their mental health.
Measures: Warrior Expeditions uses two standardized measures of psychopathy:
1. PCL-5: A 20-item self-report measure that assesses Post Traumatic Stress according to the DSM-5 with clinical relevance scores recommended by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
2. SA-45: A 45-item self-report measure that assesses the 9 Symptom Domain Scales of General Psychiatric Symptomology and scores are compared to norms of an outpatient clinical population.
Psychoeducation: Warrior Expeditions veterans also receive weekly email strategies based on the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy framework to help normalize post combat reactions.
Outcomes: The graphics below represent the positive mental health changes reported by 70 Warrior Expeditions veterans since 2013. PTSD, anxiety and depression are three of the most commonly reported symptoms experienced by combat veterans.