Journal of Traumatic Stress

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 37–49

Stress debriefing and patterns of recovery following a natural disaster

  • Justin A. Kenardy
  • Rosemary A. Webster
  • Terry J. Lewin
  • Vaughan J. Carr
  • Philip L. Hazell
  • Gregory L. Carter
Article

DOI: 10.1007/BF02116832

Cite this article as:
Kenardy, J.A., Webster, R.A., Lewin, T.J. et al. J Trauma Stress (1996) 9: 37. doi:10.1007/BF02116832

Abstract

Stress debriefing has been used extensively following traumatic events; however, there is little evidence of its effectiveness. This paper reports the effects of stress debriefing on the rate of recovery of 195 helpers (e.g., emergency service personnel and disaster workers) following an earthquake in Newcastle, Australia (62 debriefed helpers and 133 who were not debriefed). Post-trauma stress reactions (Impact of Event Scale) and general psychological morbidity (General Health Questionnaire: GHQ-12) were assessed on four occasions over the first 2 years postearthquake. There was no evidence of an improved rate of recovery among those helpers who were debriefed, even when level of exposure and helping-related stress were taken into account. More rigorous investigation of the effectiveness of stress debriefing and its role in posttrauma recovery is urgently required.

Key words

helpers stress debriefing natural disaster earthquake CISD 

Copyright information

© International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Justin A. Kenardy
    • 1
  • Rosemary A. Webster
    • 2
  • Terry J. Lewin
    • 3
  • Vaughan J. Carr
    • 3
  • Philip L. Hazell
    • 3
  • Gregory L. Carter
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of NewcastleAustralia
  3. 3.Discipline of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine and Health SciencesUniversity of NewcastleAustralia
  4. 4.Department of PsychiatryMater Misericordiae HospitalWaratahAustralia

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