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Third-party-funded project

Rehabilitative treatment programme: constructive trauma-processing for soldiers after military operations

Project management at the University of Würzburg:

Participating scientists:


Project goals

Yearly around 10.000 German Armed Forces soldiers return from operations abroad. The experiences in the foreign country lead to psychological crises in some soldiers, necessitating treatment. There is only isolated information concerning the number of treated soldiers, and there are no exact numbers of the frequency of disturbances needing therapy. For the soldiers involved, the German Armed Forces Hospital in Hamm and the Möhnesee Clinic have come up with a rehabilitative-medical concept for the treatment and its effects.


Participation in the therapeutic programme is indicated, amongst others, when a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is evident. The modules of the therapeutic offer include, amongst others, group psychotherapy sessions, training of psychological and social competence and individual psychotherapy. The scientific evaluation of the therapeutic intervention occurs at three measurement time points (beginning of rehabilitation, end of rehabilitation and follow-up) with an instrumentation compiled by the Rehabilitation Sciences section of the University of Würzburg.


Since Januar 2000 114 soldiers were accepted into the running in-patient treatment. At the beginning of the therapy, approximately 1/3 of the soldiers were suspected of having PTSD or a heightened stress reactivity. The rehabilitation results in fewer indications of PTSD at the end of the therapy and in lower means in all items and scales for co-morbidity. These changes are, for the most part, statistically significant. Also the first results of the six-month-follow-up point in this direction.

Key words:
    post traumatic stress disorders

Projekt period: from 01.1998 to 12.2001