An analogue trial of inoculation/resilience training for emergency services personnel: Proof of concept
Background and objectives This analogue study served as a proof of concept trial for inoculation/resilience training with emergency services personnel. Methods Eighty people from the general community participated in a randomized controlled trial of inoculation training to increase resilience in the mitigation of stress and trauma-type symptomatology following a stressful video of paramedics attending the scene of a car accident. Participants were randomly allocated to one of two conditions: (a) resilience training, where the participants received strategies aimed at reducing the negative effects of the event; or (b) a control 'pragmatic training' condition, where participants received practical training about what to do in the event of a car accident. A week later the full video was shown. All participants were assessed one month later. Results Unlike with past studies which tested psychological debriefing, analyses revealed that inoculation/resilience training did not appear to have deleterious effects on psychological distress measures or memory performance. Participants who received the resilience training displayed improvements in negative affect (notable trends in depression and stress levels) suggesting a more general positive result from the intervention than normal 'pragmatic training'. Limitations This was an analogue trial and a full field trial is warranted. Conclusions With organisations wishing to engage in resilience training, this analogue study suggests that inoculation training at least does no harm and may be beneficial. It is, therefore, a viable option for emergency services personnel during pre-deployment training.
Journal of Anxiety Disorders
Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology