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Chapter 5 - How Emergencies, Incidents, Disasters, and Disease Outbreaks Affect People and Healthcare Practitioners

from Section 1 - The Nature and Impacts of Twenty-First-Century Healthcare Emergencies

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 January 2024

Richard Williams
University of South Wales
Verity Kemp
Independent Health Emergency Planning Consultant
Keith Porter
University of Birmingham
Tim Healing
Worshipful Society of Apothecaries of London
John Drury
University of Sussex
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It is usual for humans to experience distress in the aftermath of emergencies, incidents, disasters, and disease outbreaks (EIDD). The manifestation, severity, and duration of the experiences that constitute distress depend on many intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Recent research has demonstrated that distress may be more ubiquitous than was previously thought, and that some interventions, even if well meaning, may not be helpful. Amelioration for most people comes with timely, proportionate, and targeted support and the passage of time. Validation of people’s experiences and minimising the medicalisation of distress are important in helping people to return to ordinary social functioning. This chapter looks at distress related to major events, including the scientific principles, impacts, and implications for intervention. The case study draws on the experience of three members of a pre-hospital team and how a challenging case affected them all.

Major Incidents, Pandemics and Mental Health
The Psychosocial Aspects of Health Emergencies, Incidents, Disasters and Disease Outbreaks
, pp. 15 - 22
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2024

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