Holistic Assessment of Quality of Life in Navy Personnel

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Name: Maggie Richard

Rank: CDR, USN

Organization: University of Maryland, Baltimore

Performance Site: Carriers in the Norfolk, VA area

Year Published: 2002

Abstract Status: Final

Abstract

The Department of the Navy (DON) spends approximately $2.3 billion dollars annually on quality of life (QOL) programs. Military researchers and the Department of Defense (DOD) are concerned about improving QOL and military outcomes for Navy personnel. Specific Aims: 1) describe the levels of spirituality, health promoting lifestyle behaviors, socio-demographics, perceptions of environment, and QOL; 2) examine the relationships among spirituality, health promoting lifestyle behaviors, socio-demographic variables, perceptions of environment, and QOL; 3) determine which combination of these variables best predicts QOL. Methodology: A cross-sectional survey design was utilized. An investigator developed theoretical framework was utilized. Data were collected from a convenience sample of (n = 88) active duty Navy service members assigned to the USNS Comfort during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Navy Spiritual Well-being measure; Navy Perceptions of Environment measure; Health Promoting Lifestyle Profile II (HPLP); and the Quality of Life Index were used as measures. Descriptive and multivariate statistics will be utilized to analyze the relationships among the study variables.Findings: Reliability estimates for all measures were alpha = .95 or greater. Mean age was 28.78 years (SD = ┬▒ 10.4); 44% of subjects were male and 52.3 % were female; 72.1% were enlisted and 27.9% were officers; years of Naval service averaged 6.72 (SD = ┬▒ 6.79); and average length of workday was 10.58 (SD = ┬▒ 4.5). Scores: mean spirituality scores ranged from 0-7, mean = 5.38 (SD = ┬▒ 1.4); perception of environment scores ranged from 0-7; mean = 4.54 (SD = ┬▒ 1.0); HPLPII scores ranged from 1-4, mean = 2.62 (SD = ┬▒ .494). Overall QLI scores ranged from 12-30, mean = 22.6 (SD = ┬▒ 4.2). Significant positive correlations were found among QOL and spirituality (r = .603 p = .001), perceptions of environment (r = .484 p = .001), HPLB (r = .497 p = .001). Positive correlations were also found among spirituality and perceptions of environment (r = .462; p Discussion/ Nursing Implications: Spirituality, perceptions of environment, and HPLB are positively correlated to QOL; spirituality and perceptions of environment predict levels of QOL in Navy personnel. This study: 1) offers new knowledge about QOL in deployed Navy personnel; 2) supports the value of study replication in larger Navy populations; and 3) supports nurse investigators in conducting future holistic QOL research that results in development of holistic interventions to enhance the QOL of service members.