Healing Retreat for Families Experiencing the Homicidal Death of a Loved One

Tuesday, 8 July 2008: 1:35 PM
Inez Tuck, RN, PhD, MBA , School of Nursing, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
Beverly Baliko, PhD, RN , College of Nursing, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC

Learning Objective 1: describe a complementary approach designed to promote family healing.

Learning Objective 2: report the effects of a homicidal event on family survivors.

Violence is evident in our communities. Often the violence is expressed as homicide or murder. Homicide is defined as the killing of one human being by another. Homicides are the second leading cause of death for all races between 15 and 24 and first for African-Americans (Anderson, 2001). The pilot study explores PTSD as part of a cluster of distress symptoms in family members. The TOZI© Healing intervention was tested in a pilot study to (1) explore the feasibility and acceptability of the intervention; (2) test the effects of the intervention; and (3) explore their responses to the intervention. This was an opportunity to test the design of the intervention as well. An independent evaluator conducted a focus group to determine treatment acceptability and the comments elicited were positive. Anonymous ratings were rated high.

Participants' responses are indicated in the pre-and post-test results. Eight family members participated in the pilot study. Seven participants reported a religious affiliation. The majority of the participants were parents of the victim. Surveys were administered prior to the intervention and 30 hours later. Although sample sizes were too small to see statistically significant differences (alpha = 0.05), notable changes were observed. There were notable increases in the General Well-being Scale (GWBS), Spiritual Well-being Scale (SWBS) (including both subscales), Herth Hope Index (HHI), Trait Forgiveness (TFS), positive religious coping (RCOPE), and decreases in negative coping (RCOPE). Forgiveness increased slightly as evidenced in the Single Item Forgiveness (SIF). Although several participants had bordering scores PTSD (PCL-C), only one scored high enough to indicate low range PTSD (14%) and there was a slight decline in this pre- and post-measures. Only one score approached depression (CES-D). Surveys were re-administered at 6 and 12 weeks post-intervention. All data are collected and are being analyzed in January 2008.