Vulnerability and resilience in a group intervention with hospital personnel during exposure to extreme and prolonged war stress

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Abstract

The current study presents a pilot demonstration of a new therapeutic procedure to mitigate symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The pilot took place during the Second Lebanon War. Vulnerability and resilience statements, as well as post-traumatic symptoms, were measured among special army administrative staff (SAAS) who worked in a hospital setting during extreme and prolonged war stress. All 13 soldiers in the unit studied participated in seven group therapy intervention sessions. It was hypothesized that shifting the focus of therapeutic intervention from the scenes of the events to the personal and professional narratives of preparing for the event would change the content of the soldiers' narratives. It was believed that subtracting the number of positive statements from the number of negative statements would yield increasingly higher "resilience scores" during and after the war. It also was believed that such a change would be reflected in reduction of post-traumatic symptoms. As expected, the participants showed a decrease in vulnerability and an increase in resilience contents, as well as a decrease in traumatic symptoms during and after the war. These findings may reflect the effects of the ceasefire, the mutually supportive attitude of the participants, and the therapeutic interventions.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)103-108
Number of pages6
JournalPrehospital and Disaster Medicine
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2012

Keywords

  • PTSD
  • hospital
  • impact
  • intervention
  • post-traumatic stress disorder
  • resilience
  • stress
  • symptoms
  • trauma
  • war

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Emergency
  • Emergency Medicine

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