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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 128-133

Critical incident stress debriefing for frontline military rescuers in a helicopter crash disaster in Taiwan: A preliminary report


1 Department of Psychiatry, Beitou Branch, Tri Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center; Department of Research and Development, Institute of Health Policy and Management, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
2 Department of Psychiatry, Beitou Branch, Tri Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan
3 Military Suicide Prevention Center; Disaster Mental Health Center, Beitou Branch, Tri Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan
4 Department of Psychiatry; Military Suicide Prevention Center, Beitou Branch, Tri Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan
5 Department of Psychiatry; Military Suicide Prevention Center; Disaster Mental Health Center, Beitou Branch, Tri Service General Hospital, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan

Correspondence Address:
Yueh-Ming Tai
No. 60, Shin-Ming Road, Taipei 112
Taiwan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/TPSY.TPSY_14_20

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Objective: With the goal of optimizing the outcome of frontline rescuers from psychiatric morbidities, especially posttraumatic stress disorder, preventive interventions is necessary. But the effectiveness and timing of the group debriefing programs remain controversial. In this study, we intended to share the process of a debriefing group, consisting of several therapeutic elements and showing the benefits and effectiveness of each therapeutic element. Methods: A helicopter crash tragedy took place on January 2, 2020, in Taiwan. We recruited 71 frontline military rescuers for providing a group debriefing program, a semi-structured critical incident stressing debriefing (CISD). After the program was finished, all participants filled out their demographic data and a copy of an anonymous questionnaire, the Sharing Support Group for Crisis Intervention Questionnaire for the attendant's self-perceived benefits with 11 elements. Comparing to their perceived therapeutic elements and demographic information, we later discussed the factors associated with the therapeutic effectiveness of this program. Results: The male dominant participants perceived the benefits of all therapeutic elements with no significant differences between gender. Those with service-year < 4 years showed significantly higher self-perceived benefits from this program (p < 0.05). The sergeant rank showed significantly lesser self-perceived benefits from the program, for example, emotion catharsis (Q4, p < 0.05), reviewing of what the group members experienced (Q5, p < 0.01), and coping skills extension (Q8, p < 0.05). Conclusion: This study revealed that the sociodemographic factors, rescuers' ranks and years of service but no gender, play rôles in the effectiveness of the group debriefing programs for the frontline military rescuers. We hope that further understanding can improve the therapeutic effectiveness of debriefing management in the future.


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