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Nursing Professor Seeks Military Spouses
for Research Study on Stress and Coping

RELEASED: July 10, 2007

soldierEAU CLAIRE — Dr. Lois Taft, a professor and chair of the nursing systems department in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, is looking for volunteers to help with a research study on "Stress and Coping Strategies of Spouses of Deployed Soldiers."

According to Taft, U.S. National Guard and Reserve members are deploying at higher rates than ever in history, leaving behind spouses in rural settings without the full support of the military.

"Deployment to a combat zone is a major stressor for soldiers and their families and may exacerbate existing levels of stress for spouses,. bringing about changes in coping strategies," said Taft.

For this research, Taft would like to interview spouses of National Guard or Reserve soldiers who are soon to be deployed, currently serving, or returned from Iraq or Afghanistan within the past year. She said the interview takes about 60 minutes and can take place in participants' homes or at other locations convenient for them. Interviews will be tape recorded, but information will not be connected to individual participants and the names of all participants will be kept confidential.

"The goal of this project is to gain a better understanding of the unique stressors in the current war and how spouses are coping with that stress," Taft said. "Few healthcare providers will experience what it's like to be the spouse of a soldier deployed to a combat zone, but having an informed understanding of the experience may help us identify ways to support spouses and understand their sacrifices."

Taft said this research is a continuation of a pilot study conducted by a student in the Master of Science in Nursing program. Open-ended questions, with revisions suggested by the pilot study, will be used to describe and explore the participants' levels of stress and coping strategies. Two participants were interviewed in the pilot study, and a minimum of 12 additional participants will be recruited for this expanded study.

Anyone willing to participate in the study can contact Taft by e-mail at taftlb@uwec.edu or leave a phone message at 715-836-4911.

-30-

NW

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