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Establishing the Effectiveness of Interventions Provided to First Responders to Prevent and/or Treat Mental Health Effects of Response to a Disaster: A Systematic Review

  • W. Tyler Winders (a1), Nirma D. Bustamante (a2), Stephanie Chow Garbern (a3), Corey Bills (a4), Amin Coker (a5), Indi Trehan (a6) (a7), Maxwell Osei-Ampofo (a5) and Adam C. Levine (a3)...

Abstract

Objectives:

This review systematically explores the current available evidence on the effectiveness of interventions provided to first responders to prevent and/or treat the mental health effects of responding to a disaster.

Methods:

A systematic review of Medline, Scopus, PsycINFO, and gray literature was conducted. Studies describing the effectiveness of interventions provided to first responders to prevent and/or treat the mental health effects of responding to a disaster were included. Quality was assessed using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) criteria, and the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) checklist.

Results:

Manuscripts totaling 3869 met the initial search criteria; 25 studies met the criteria for in-depth analysis, including 22 quantitative and 3 qualitative studies; 6 were performed in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs); 18 studies evaluated a psychological intervention; of these, 13 found positive impact, 4 found no impact, and 1 demonstrated worsened symptoms after the intervention. Pre-event trainings decreased psychiatric symptoms in each of the 3 studies evaluating its effectiveness.

Conclusions:

This review demonstrates that there are likely effective interventions to both prevent and treat psychiatric symptoms in first responders in high-, medium-, and low-income countries.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence and reprint requests to W. Tyler Winders, Department of Emergency Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, 169 Ashley Ave., MSC 300, CharlestonSC29425 (e-mail: tylerwinders@gmail.com).

References

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Keywords

Establishing the Effectiveness of Interventions Provided to First Responders to Prevent and/or Treat Mental Health Effects of Response to a Disaster: A Systematic Review

  • W. Tyler Winders (a1), Nirma D. Bustamante (a2), Stephanie Chow Garbern (a3), Corey Bills (a4), Amin Coker (a5), Indi Trehan (a6) (a7), Maxwell Osei-Ampofo (a5) and Adam C. Levine (a3)...

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