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Article

Adherence to Psychological First Aid after Exposure to a Traumatic Event at Work among EMS Workers: A Qualitative Study

1
Department of Psychology, Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC H3T 1J4, Canada
2
Trauma Studies Center, University Institute of Mental Health of Montreal, Montréal, QC H1L 2K4, Canada
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School of Criminology, Universiteé de Montréal, Montréal, QC H3T 1J4, Canada
4
School of Psychoeducation, Université de Montréal, Montréal, QC H3T 1J4, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(21), 11026; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111026
Received: 10 September 2021 / Revised: 7 October 2021 / Accepted: 16 October 2021 / Published: 20 October 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interventions after Traumatic Events)
Managing post-traumatic stress reactions in the first few days after exposure to a potentially traumatic event in the course of one’s work remains a challenge for first responder organizations such as Emergency Medical Services (EMS). Psychological First Aid (PFA) is an evidence-informed approach to reducing initial distress and promoting short- and long-term coping strategies among staff in the aftermath of exposure. PFA provided by peer helpers is considered a promising solution for first responder organizations. Unfortunately, first responders may encounter stigma and barriers to mental health care. Therefore, a deeper investigation is needed regarding adherence over time to implemented PFA intervention. The purpose of this study is to qualitatively explore factors that influence adherence to PFA intervention of recipients and peer helpers. EMS workers (n = 11), working as PFA peer helpers for one year, participated in semi-structured interviews. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis; intercoder reliability (κ = 0.91) was also used. Researchers identified four themes and 11 subthemes influencing adherence to PFA intervention: (1) individual perceptions and attitudes of peer helpers and recipients about pfa intervention; (2) perceived impacts on peer helpers and recipients; (3) organizational support to pfa intervention; and (4) congruence with the occupational culture. Study findings herein suggest that it is conceivable to act on various factors to improve adherence to PFA intervention among peer helpers and recipients within EMS organization. This could lead to enhanced understanding of the challenges involved in sustaining a peer led PFA program for first responders. View Full-Text
Keywords: emergency medical services workers; early post-trauma intervention; first responders; psychological first aid; peer support; implementation; adherence; sustainability emergency medical services workers; early post-trauma intervention; first responders; psychological first aid; peer support; implementation; adherence; sustainability
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tessier, M.; Lamothe, J.; Geoffrion, S. Adherence to Psychological First Aid after Exposure to a Traumatic Event at Work among EMS Workers: A Qualitative Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 11026. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111026

AMA Style

Tessier M, Lamothe J, Geoffrion S. Adherence to Psychological First Aid after Exposure to a Traumatic Event at Work among EMS Workers: A Qualitative Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(21):11026. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111026

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tessier, Marine, Josianne Lamothe, and Steve Geoffrion. 2021. "Adherence to Psychological First Aid after Exposure to a Traumatic Event at Work among EMS Workers: A Qualitative Study" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 21: 11026. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111026

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