Compassion meditation interventions (CMIs) seem to be underutilized. However, it is difficult to conduct rigorous, large-scale, clinical trials comparing CMIs with usual care (e.g., CBT for PTSD).
Consistent with other research on common treatments for trauma, treatments focused on the physical and psychological needs of survivors are common. These include psychotherapy, trauma workshops, and emotional support groups. Although a growing number of studies are examining common treatments for moral injury that do not include victim-survivor groups, this is the first published research to evaluate common treatments found to be used in the context of moral injury.
Moral injuring involves personal moral violations. These can manifest as a lack of interest in the well-being of others (and even personal injury to others for their needs), personal moral neglect,
[Over 75% of American physicians prescribe and endorse self-injury to treat mental pain or to maintain mood stability. This practice is recommended by the American Psychiatric Association. In a survey of US physicians, it was found that nearly half of the physicians that answered would prescribe or endorse the practice of self-harm. A survey of all US adults was also conducted, which revealed that about 15% of adults report having done self-harm in the previous 12 months.] In 2003, a national survey of US adults by Harris found, “More than three times as many adults as a year ago reported attempting suicide, had deliberately inflicted serious physical harm or made suicide attempts because of a mental illness.
Moral injury is a common and disabling mental health condition that manifests itself after a person encounters a troubling situation and perceives the person experiencing that situation as morally wrong. MBI is most commonly reported by adolescents and young adults. This article explores what is morally wrong and what constitutes moral injury.
Moral injury is challenging to heal because it is a chronic and often difficult-to-treat injury. In the long-term, there was a significant decrease in the severity, but not a return to pre-injury scores and a significant decrease in perceived severity. Moral injury is therefore a chronic, potentially refractory injury. Future efforts in rehabilitation should acknowledge this fact and take it into account while developing rehabilitation techniques.
Moral injury seems to be a more powerful and broader concept than guilt. In addition, while moral injury is associated with negative consequences for personal behavior, guilt is mainly related with personal consequences for others. The consequences are not the same in both cases. For moral injury, there are more serious consequences, including shame, for the individual concerned.
Compensatory responses are commonly reported to the effects of MCT, in particular for emotional distress. However, our study also showed that participants may have perceived that the MCT process had a tangible effect (as measured by their self-reported ratings of emotional distress). In a recent study, findings call for further refinement of the conceptual models underpinning the intervention, in particular the effects of meditation on the sense of being close to the deceased.
In a recent study, findings give preliminary support for the safety and feasibility of CM for adults with a history of PTSD. Future research should include a randomized comparison group to rule out concerns about the placebo effect.
More doctors than nurses may consider clinical trial enrollment for moral injury. The factors that predicted enrollment included the possibility of treatment benefit, being from a low income population, or being married. Doctors are more likely to be considering clinical trial enrollment for moral injury than nurses.
Compassion meditation focuses on a compassionate approach to others, especially those who may suffer, or to our self in the form of personal or emotional conflicts. Results from a recent paper of this study have important implications for health care professionals.
This review provides a baseline estimate of the prevalence of moral injury and identifies several age ranges that were most frequently seen in this population.