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A mutual aid group programme for emergency personnel

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dc.contributor.advisor Edwards, S.D.
dc.contributor.author Mbutho, Sheron Lindiwe
dc.date.accessioned 2010-09-21T08:20:49Z
dc.date.available 2010-09-21T08:20:49Z
dc.date.issued 2004
dc.identifier.other 304659
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10530/460
dc.description Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in the Department of Psychology University of Zululand, 2004. en_US
dc.description.abstract This report presents the findings of a study conducted in 2003-2004, involving eight members of emergency services in Stanger, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. The emergency personnel included five firefighters and three paramedics. The aim of the study was to develop and evaluate a mutual aid group programme in order to prevent symptoms of trauma, with special reference to anxiety and depression, and promote psychological well-being in emergency personnel. Emergency personnel are exposed to traumatic events during the line of duty. The study investigated stressors, which were identified as organizational, management style, ineffective communication, stressors relating to patient care (personal loss, traumatic stimuli, high expectations) and low job and high workloads. The study also investigated psychological, physical and social effects of emergency work. Psychological effects that were identified were mental illnesses such as depression and posttraumatic stress disorder. Symptoms included irritability, anger, frustration, hopelessness, helplessness, fear and anxiety. Physical effects included fatigue, difficulty breathing, startle response, nausea, trembling and racing heart. Social problems such as conflicts with family, friends and colleagues were also identified. The study provided group members with the ability to identify symptoms of trauma and accept vulnerability, which served as important preventative measures for mental illness. The group created a safe atmosphere where members were able to share their feelings without the fear of being judged. It also provided members with new coping strategies for dealing with their feelings. Regarding further support systems the group members identified an ongoing need for help via psychologists, psychological debriefing and support from management, family as well as the community. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship National Research Foundation en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Firefighters--Job stress--South Africa--Stanger en_US
dc.subject Emergency medical personnel--Job stress--South Africa--Stanger en_US
dc.subject Post-traumatic stress disorder--Treatment en_US
dc.subject Stress management en_US
dc.title A mutual aid group programme for emergency personnel en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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