Debriefing Summaries of Ten Research Articles Term Paper

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Summaries of Ten Research Articles on Debriefing


Campfield, K.M. & Hills, a.M. (2001). Effect of timing of critical incident stress debriefing (CISD) on posttraumatic symptoms - the researchers wanted to find out if an optimum time exists after trauma for prevention of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They used a 7-stage model Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD) with two groups that had been victims of robbery -- one group was debriefed immediately (within 10 hours after robbery), while the other was debriefed after 48 hours. Forty-two women and 35 men participated, who had experienced a robbery in the workplace for the first time, which did not result in a physical injury or involve a gun. Participants were randomly assigned to one of the two groups. Each completed a Posttraumatic Stress Diagnostic Scale (PDS), which revealed the number of symptoms they were having and the severity. The same trained researcher debriefed all the participants in 1-2-hour sessions. Afterwards, each participant was contacted by telephone at 2 and 4-day intervals and 2 weeks later. PDS was again administered by phone. The group that was debriefed immediately had significantly fewer symptoms of PTSD than the delayed group. The severity was also lower at each follow-up for the group immediately debriefed. Both groups started out with a high level of symptoms, but the immediately debriefed group showed "marked and consistent improvement at each follow contrast to the delayed debriefing group, which only showed marginal improvement" (Campfield & Hills, 2001, p. 336).Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Jenkins, S.R. (1996). Social support and debriefing efficacy among emergency medical workers after a mass shooting incident - the researcher wanted to find out the effects of four forms of social support on 36 emergency medical personnel after a mass shooting incident. They rated four aspects of perceived social support; CISD debriefing; feeling that others empathized; and how much time was spent with others in the two days after the incident. The 34 participants were workers from two fire and rescue companies who were first responders and had to make life and death decisions for 55 injured and dying persons, some of whom they could not save. Within 24 hours they were offered CISD debriefing. Data was collected 8-10 days afterward and again one month later. Participants were interviewed and completed a questionnaire. They again completed a questionnaire one month later. Researchers used a semi-structured interview with 17-open-ended questions to elicit data on stress, the participant's use of coping resources, and social support. Participants reported on their CISD services and answered the question, "How well do people who were not involved at the shooting understand what you have experienced?" Participants who rated social support important did not necessarily feel others were empathic, and those who spent more time with family also reported experiencing more empathy. Those who spent more time with non-family, including debriefing, reported feeling less empathy. Those who attended CISD reported making triage decisions was their greatest stressor (not emotions). Recovery from acute symptoms was related to "participants' perceptions of noninvolved others' understanding of their experience" (p. 487). Most useful after empathy was CISD, particularly for those distressed by triage decisions -- 50% of attendees spontaneously reported CISD helped them cope.

Deahl, M. et. al. (2000). Preventing psychological trauma in soldiers: The role of operational stress training and psychological debriefing - the researchers wanted to conduct a trial of group-PD to test its effectiveness in British servicemen who were in active combat in Yugoslavia during the Bosnian War. The soldiers received an Operational Stress Training Package as part of their pre-deployment training, in which they were briefed on the nature of stressful events they might encounter and ways to cope. They were randomly placed in two groups. The first group received PD. The second group did not. PD was done in groups of eight to ten with each session about 2 hours. All the soldiers completed a questionnaire about previous exposure to trauma, an Impact of Events Scale (IES) and PTSS-10. SCL-90 was used to measure non-specific psychopathology and CAGE for alcohol misuse. A random sample from each group was also interviewed. The soldiers were assessed when they returned to the UK, before debriefing, and at 3, 6 and 12 months afterward. Both groups were exposed to highly stressful events during their 6-month deployment. Significantly higher anxiety scores and total scores were found in the non-debriefed group. SCL-90 scores and CAGE scores were also higher for the non-debriefed group at the 1-year follow-up (30.4% vs. 6.3%). At six months, there was a decrease in HADS scores for the debriefed group while the non-debriefed group showed significantly higher. Both groups showed an unusually low rate of psychopathology following active combat (10 times less than figures reported from other military samples) and researchers speculate that the Stress Training Package they received may have benefitted greatly. Only three soldiers developed PTSD, one that was debriefed and two that were not.

Chemtop, C.M. et al. (1997). Postdisaster psychosocial intervention: A field study of the impact of debriefing on psychological distress - the researchers wanted to find out if psychological debriefing (PD) six months after Hurricane Aniki (in Hawaii) would reduce disaster-related psychological distress. Forty-three participants exposed to the hurricane were divided into 2 groups. Both groups completed the Impact of Event Scale. Group I had PD six months after the hurricane and was retested 90 days later. Group 2 received PD the same day that Group 1 was re-tested and were retested 90 days later. Both groups had experienced substantial property damage. Their psychological distress levels were high on the pre-test, in fact, comparable to clinical levels. PD consisted of a 3-hour group session followed by 2 hours of lecture on post-disaster recovery. After the intervention, both avoidance and intrusion scores were significantly reduced (for avoidance: F=9.49, df=1, 41,p<.003; for intrusion: F=18.13,df=1,41,p<.0001). The treatment effect was significantly high. The researchers speculate that this could be because of the additional 2 hours of lecture and education, or because of the timing -- after 6 months, perhaps the participants were more "ready" to accept what would help them to recover.

Richards, D. (2001). A field study of critical incident stress debriefing vs. critical incident stress management - the researchers wanted to know which was more effective for reducing post-traumatic stress -- debriefing (CISD) as a stand-alone intervention or management (CISM) in which intervention was delivered in an integrated format. The participants were victims of armed robbery. They worked for a financial services company that responded to "raids" initially with a single intervention CISD. After eighteen months the company expanded services into a more comprehensive CISM system. This offered an opportunity for a field trial in which 225 people received CISD alone and 299 people got integrated CISM. Their traumatic experiences all involved being confronted by robbers. None were exposed to guns, physical injuries, or hostage taking. For CISD, a 7-stage model of debriefing was employed. CISM included pre-trauma training, CISD identical to that delivered in the other group, and individual follow-up and counseling. Participants completed health questionnaires (GHQ-28) and the post-traumatic stress scale (PSS) before CISD 3 days after the robbery and again after one month, 3, 6 and 12 months. Initial scores were high for symptom severity in both groups. Two-thirds of the employees had clinical symptoms, but after one month, symptoms had reduced to 15.7% and remained low in both groups. However, "at follow-up the CISM group scored lower on all measures" (p. 356). Over time, outcomes were superior for those who received CISM over CISD alone.


Bisson, J.I., Jenkins, P.L., Alexander, J. & Bannister, C. (1997). Randomised controlled trial of psychological debriefing for victims of acute burn trauma - the researchers wanted to find out if victims of acute burn trauma would recover faster with PD. Participants were 165 people admitted to a regional burn unit. Each participant completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), the Impact of Event Scale (IES), a questionnaire about background and extent of injuries, and 0-8 visual analogue scales about contentedness, perceived stressfulness and daily life. At follow-up appointments, researchers administered the Clinician Administered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Scale (CAPS) and a questionnaire about late effects of accidental injury. Participants were randomly placed in one of two groups, PD intervention or control. PD occurred 2-19 days after the trauma and lasted 30-120 minutes using a 7-stage semi-structured approach. Scores for anxiety and depression were significantly worse in the PD group compared to the group that received no intervention. The prediction that PD would prevent burn victims from developing PTSD was not supported. When followed up after 13 months they were significantly worse. Recruitment ended when preliminary analysis showed "possible adverse consequences for the intervention group" (p. 78). 14 of the PD group (25%) reported reduced functioning compared to 8 (17%) of the control group.

Rose, S., Brewin, C.R., Andrews, B. & Kirk, M. (1999). A randomized controlled trial of individual psychological debriefing for victims of violent… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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