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The purpose of this study was to investigate potential association between psychopathology and subjective evaluation of the experience of debriefing in disaster-exposed rescue and recovery workers.
Structured diagnostic interviews for DSM-III-R psychiatric disorders were conducted with 166 firefighters who served as rescue and recovery workers for the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, who categorized their satisfaction with the debriefing on 4 levels. “Very dissatisfied” responses were examined for their association with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and with PTSD symptom groups.
Being “very dissatisfied” with the debriefing was significantly associated with the DSM-III-R avoidance and numbing group and with PTSD.
These findings suggest that debriefing may be an unsatisfactory intervention for people with prominent avoidance and numbing symptoms, such as those with PTSD. These individuals might be better served by referral directly to psychiatric treatment (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;12:718-722).
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