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Mental health of trauma-exposed firefighters and critical incident stress debriefing

Harris, MB
Baloğlu, Mustafa
Stacks, JR
Interest in critical incident stress debriefings for firefighters has grown over the last decade. Some researchers report that debriefings protect firefighters from stress-related disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Proponents of the interventions claim extraordinary need and success. Controlled and correlational studies have largely failed to demonstrate therapeutic effects, and some report iatrogenic effects. This study examined the relationships between debriefings and several mental health variables in a large sample of firefighters. Debriefing had a weak inverse correlation with negative affectivity and a weak positive correlation with positive world assumptions. No relationship was found between debriefing and PTSD.