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A psychological resilience briefing intervention for helicopter emergency medical service observers

Walton, M., McLachlan, S., Nelson, M., Skeffington, P.ORCID: 0000-0002-4830-1131, Phillipson, L. and Christian, M.D. (2022) A psychological resilience briefing intervention for helicopter emergency medical service observers. Air Medical Journal . In Press.

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Helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) observers may be at risk of negative psychological effects associated with exposure to traumatic events during shifts. This article describes a quality improvement project for HEMS observers at Essex & Herts Air Ambulance.

A psychological resilience briefing intervention (PRBi) was developed and delivered during induction training with 60 HEMS observers. The PRBi aimed to raise awareness of traumatic events that observers may experience and provided basic education on 5 domains, including likely forms of trauma exposure, possible psychological reactions, advice on coping strategies and supporting colleagues, and resources that they could use if required. The intervention was intended to bolster resilience and reduce posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms, and to encourage adaptive coping styles in observers.

Observers learned from and valued the PRBi; statistically significant increases were observed in awareness of the 5 domains from pre- to post-delivery, and free-text responses cited a variety of benefits to the observers. There was no indication that the PRBi caused harm.

The PRBi has now been included in the routine induction of observers at Essex & Herts Air Ambulance and has the potential to be repurposed for use in other settings, including medical schools.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Psychology, Counselling, Exercise Science and Chiropractic
Publisher: Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of Air Medical Journal Associates.
Copyright: © 2022 The Authors.
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