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Training and post-disaster interventions for the psychological impacts on disaster-exposed employees: a systematic review

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature review

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Mental Health
Published15 Feb 2018

King's Authors


Background: When organisations are exposed to traumatic situations, such as disasters, often staff are not prepared for the potential psychological impact which can negatively affect their wellbeing.
Aims: To conduct a systematic review of the literature on psychological interventions aimed at improving staff wellbeing during or after disasters.
Method: Four electronic literature databases were searched. Reference lists of relevant articles were hand-searched.
Results: Fifteen articles were included. Five studies suggested that pre-disaster skills training and disaster education can improve employee confidence. Ten studies on post-disaster interventions revealed mixed findings on the effectiveness of psychological debriefing and limited evidence for cognitive behavioural therapy, psychoeducation and meditation.
Conclusions: Pre-disaster training and education can improve employees’ confidence in their ability to cope with disasters. The routine use of post-disaster psychological debriefings is not supported; further research is needed to determine if debriefing interventions could be useful in some circumstances. Further research is needed to provide more evidence on the potential
positive effects of cognitive behavioural therapy, psychoeducation and meditation. More experimental studies on psychological disaster interventions are needed.

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