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The usefulness of pre-employment and pre-deployment psychological screening for disaster relief workers: A systematic review

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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The usefulness of pre-employment and pre-deployment psychological screening for disaster relief workers : A systematic review. / Opie, Elena; Brooks, Samantha; Greenberg, Neil; Rubin, G. James.

In: BMC Psychiatry, Vol. 20, No. 1, 211, 11.05.2020.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Harvard

Opie, E, Brooks, S, Greenberg, N & Rubin, GJ 2020, 'The usefulness of pre-employment and pre-deployment psychological screening for disaster relief workers: A systematic review', BMC Psychiatry, vol. 20, no. 1, 211. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-020-02593-1

APA

Opie, E., Brooks, S., Greenberg, N., & Rubin, G. J. (2020). The usefulness of pre-employment and pre-deployment psychological screening for disaster relief workers: A systematic review. BMC Psychiatry, 20(1), [211]. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-020-02593-1

Vancouver

Opie E, Brooks S, Greenberg N, Rubin GJ. The usefulness of pre-employment and pre-deployment psychological screening for disaster relief workers: A systematic review. BMC Psychiatry. 2020 May 11;20(1). 211. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-020-02593-1

Author

Opie, Elena ; Brooks, Samantha ; Greenberg, Neil ; Rubin, G. James. / The usefulness of pre-employment and pre-deployment psychological screening for disaster relief workers : A systematic review. In: BMC Psychiatry. 2020 ; Vol. 20, No. 1.

Bibtex Download

@article{40266e33ba8742e4a44511ef61f666e3,
title = "The usefulness of pre-employment and pre-deployment psychological screening for disaster relief workers: A systematic review",
abstract = "Background: Individuals who conduct disaster relief work overseas are exposed to a variety of traumatic events that can cause distress and trigger psychological illnesses. Identification of which disaster relief workers may be at risk of experiencing psychological distress or mental health disorders is frequently carried out through pre-employment or pre-deployment psychological screening. The primary objective of our review was to assess the evidence for pre-employment and pre-deployment psychological screening of relief workers who work in disaster situations. We aimed to identify specific pre-employment and pre-deployment characteristics that predict impaired wellbeing of an individual following engaging in disaster-related work. Methods: A combined list of search terms was composed relating to disaster-related occupations, screening methods, psychological disorders, and study design. The databases used were PsycINFO, MEDLINE, EMBASE, and GlobalHealth. We included studies that used cross-sectional or longitudinal study designs; were published in the English language in peer-reviewed academic journals; reported on the association between pre-employment and pre-deployment features and post-deployment psychological disorders or distress; considered any occupational groups responding to a specified, discrete crisis; and used at least one validated measure of distress or disorder. We extracted data on the author; year of publication; disaster description; country of study; study design; population sample; disorder(s) outcome and the measures used; and results. Results: Sixty-two, high-quality studies were included in the review. Forty-one potential predictors were identified. Of these, only volunteer status and previous history of mental illness and life stressors emerged as reliable predictors of distress or disorder. Conclusion: The results suggest that whilst it is attractive to screen for pre-employment and pre-deployment indicators of resilience, the evidence base for doing so is weak. At best, this sort of screening can only weakly suggest vulnerability and at worst may result in discrimination. Until better evidence about its usefulness becomes available, employers should exercise caution over its use.",
keywords = "Disaster relief workers, Predictors, Psychological disorder, Psychological distress, Resilience factors",
author = "Elena Opie and Samantha Brooks and Neil Greenberg and Rubin, {G. James}",
year = "2020",
month = "5",
day = "11",
doi = "10.1186/s12888-020-02593-1",
language = "English",
volume = "20",
journal = "BMC Psychiatry",
issn = "1471-244X",
publisher = "BioMed Central",
number = "1",

}

RIS (suitable for import to EndNote) Download

TY - JOUR

T1 - The usefulness of pre-employment and pre-deployment psychological screening for disaster relief workers

T2 - A systematic review

AU - Opie, Elena

AU - Brooks, Samantha

AU - Greenberg, Neil

AU - Rubin, G. James

PY - 2020/5/11

Y1 - 2020/5/11

N2 - Background: Individuals who conduct disaster relief work overseas are exposed to a variety of traumatic events that can cause distress and trigger psychological illnesses. Identification of which disaster relief workers may be at risk of experiencing psychological distress or mental health disorders is frequently carried out through pre-employment or pre-deployment psychological screening. The primary objective of our review was to assess the evidence for pre-employment and pre-deployment psychological screening of relief workers who work in disaster situations. We aimed to identify specific pre-employment and pre-deployment characteristics that predict impaired wellbeing of an individual following engaging in disaster-related work. Methods: A combined list of search terms was composed relating to disaster-related occupations, screening methods, psychological disorders, and study design. The databases used were PsycINFO, MEDLINE, EMBASE, and GlobalHealth. We included studies that used cross-sectional or longitudinal study designs; were published in the English language in peer-reviewed academic journals; reported on the association between pre-employment and pre-deployment features and post-deployment psychological disorders or distress; considered any occupational groups responding to a specified, discrete crisis; and used at least one validated measure of distress or disorder. We extracted data on the author; year of publication; disaster description; country of study; study design; population sample; disorder(s) outcome and the measures used; and results. Results: Sixty-two, high-quality studies were included in the review. Forty-one potential predictors were identified. Of these, only volunteer status and previous history of mental illness and life stressors emerged as reliable predictors of distress or disorder. Conclusion: The results suggest that whilst it is attractive to screen for pre-employment and pre-deployment indicators of resilience, the evidence base for doing so is weak. At best, this sort of screening can only weakly suggest vulnerability and at worst may result in discrimination. Until better evidence about its usefulness becomes available, employers should exercise caution over its use.

AB - Background: Individuals who conduct disaster relief work overseas are exposed to a variety of traumatic events that can cause distress and trigger psychological illnesses. Identification of which disaster relief workers may be at risk of experiencing psychological distress or mental health disorders is frequently carried out through pre-employment or pre-deployment psychological screening. The primary objective of our review was to assess the evidence for pre-employment and pre-deployment psychological screening of relief workers who work in disaster situations. We aimed to identify specific pre-employment and pre-deployment characteristics that predict impaired wellbeing of an individual following engaging in disaster-related work. Methods: A combined list of search terms was composed relating to disaster-related occupations, screening methods, psychological disorders, and study design. The databases used were PsycINFO, MEDLINE, EMBASE, and GlobalHealth. We included studies that used cross-sectional or longitudinal study designs; were published in the English language in peer-reviewed academic journals; reported on the association between pre-employment and pre-deployment features and post-deployment psychological disorders or distress; considered any occupational groups responding to a specified, discrete crisis; and used at least one validated measure of distress or disorder. We extracted data on the author; year of publication; disaster description; country of study; study design; population sample; disorder(s) outcome and the measures used; and results. Results: Sixty-two, high-quality studies were included in the review. Forty-one potential predictors were identified. Of these, only volunteer status and previous history of mental illness and life stressors emerged as reliable predictors of distress or disorder. Conclusion: The results suggest that whilst it is attractive to screen for pre-employment and pre-deployment indicators of resilience, the evidence base for doing so is weak. At best, this sort of screening can only weakly suggest vulnerability and at worst may result in discrimination. Until better evidence about its usefulness becomes available, employers should exercise caution over its use.

KW - Disaster relief workers

KW - Predictors

KW - Psychological disorder

KW - Psychological distress

KW - Resilience factors

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85084608742&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1186/s12888-020-02593-1

DO - 10.1186/s12888-020-02593-1

M3 - Article

C2 - 32393208

AN - SCOPUS:85084608742

VL - 20

JO - BMC Psychiatry

JF - BMC Psychiatry

SN - 1471-244X

IS - 1

M1 - 211

ER -

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