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J Travel Med. 1998 Dec;5(4):226-7.

Critical incident stress debriefing in international aid workers.

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1
Formerly Short Term Overseas Programmes Co-ordinator, Tearfund (UK), Currently AIDS Programme Development Consultant and Trainer, Malaysian CARE (Malaysia).

Abstract

Missionaries are well known to suffer the effects of stress. Patricia Miersma relates missionary stress to combat related stress. 1 Development workers too are known to be at increased risk of death whilst overseas-mostly due to traumatic incidents. Relief workers voluntarily enter high stress situations. These overseas workers are at real risk of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The issue of Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD, or Psychological Debriefing) has been critically examined in an editorial in the British Medical Journal.3 The first randomized, controlled study of CISD that we are aware of (for motor vehicle accident survivors) was published in 1996.4 With 54 intervention subjects, it did not demonstrate effectiveness.

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