Spiritual Care Practices and Psychological Health for Veterans Gazilere Manevi Bakım Uygulamaları ve Psikolojik Sağlık

Tosun M., ÖZDOĞAN Ö.

Ankara Universitesi Ilahiyat Fakultesi Dergisi, vol.65, no.1, pp.33-62, 2024 (Scopus) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 65 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.33227/auifd.1417260
  • Journal Name: Ankara Universitesi Ilahiyat Fakultesi Dergisi
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus, ATLA Religion Database, Central & Eastern European Academic Source (CEEAS), Index Islamicus, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Page Numbers: pp.33-62
  • Keywords: God Perception, Psychological Health, Psychology of Religion, Spiritual Care, Veteran, Veteranhood
  • Ankara University Affiliated: Yes


Due to the association of 'veteranhood' with heroism and defense of the homeland, a spiritual significance is attributed to the military title of veteranhood. Understanding and addressing the spiritual needs of veterans are considered crucial for helping them cope with the demanding experiences wrought by the war or terrorism and the aiding in their reintegration into civilian life. Academic research suggests that initiatives aimed at meeting these spiritual needs can significantly ease the challenges faced by veterans during their transition. In this study, a Value-Focused Spiritual Empowerment and Care Program was implemented for individuals who became veterans during their military service, and its effects on veterans' God perception and their psychological health were examined. A total of 64 veterans participated in the experiment, with 32 assigned to the experimental group and 32 to the control group. In the spiritual care sessions held with theme-oriented group meetings, the themes of the values in the DOMAB program developed by Özdoğan are perseverance, dedication, balance, freedom, will, self-confidence, positive perspective and peace, love, piety, prayer, patience, justice, gratitude and human-holy book relationship. The study employed a pre-test/post-test control group design method for the implementation. The God Perception Scale developed by Güler (2007) and the The Brief Symptom Inventory, originally created by Derogatis (1992) and adapted for use in Turkey by Şahin and Durak (1994) with established reliability and validity, were utilized as data collection instruments. The findings indicate that the implementation led to significant differences in veterans' scores for their God perception and psychological health. Accordingly, the primary hypothesis of the study, which postulated that “Spiritual care practices conducted within the context of devoloped by Özdoğan “Value-Focused Spiritual Empowerment and Care Program” will result in differentiation in veterans' perception of God scores and psychological health level scores,” supported. As a result of the data analysis: (a) it differentiated perception of God scores in favor of the experimental group veterans. The post-test scores of the experimental group participants showed an increase in love-oriented perception of God compared to their pre-test scores, while there was a decrease in fear-oriented perception of God post-test scores compared to their pre-test scores. Furthermore, the results of the follow-up test conducted three months later with the experimental group participants demonstrated the persistence of the effects of spiritual care, with the application maintaining its impact on the scores of fear-oriented perception of God. (b) it differentiated psychological health scores in favor of the experimental group veterans. The post-test scores of the experimental group participants using the The Brief Symptom Inventory showed a decrease compared to their pre-test scores. As a result of this intervention, it is evident that participants experienced improvements in the dimensions of anxiety, depression, negative self-concept, and hostility. The results of the follow-up test conducted three months later clearly indicate the persistence of this effect in the experimental group, with participants continuing to exhibit improvements in the somatization and hostility dimensions of the The Brief Symptom Inventory. However, no improvement was observed in the scores of the control group on the same scales at the post-test. Therefore, by looking at the veterans' God Perception Scale and Brief Symptom Inventory scores, it can be stated that the implemented program has a positive effect on the veterans' perception of God and their psychological health.