Interventions which promote mental health among rescue workers: an integrative literature review

dc.contributor.authorFitzsimons, John
dc.descriptionA research report submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Nursing to the Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Therapeutic Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg , 2023
dc.description.abstractBackground: Rescue workers are at the forefront of humanitarian efforts during suddenonset disasters and remain a high-risk group for post-traumatic stress-related disorders. This is due to the nature of rescue work as well as the unique hazards inherent therein. This study endeavoured to identify and describe interventions which can bolster the mental health fortitude of rescue workers and lead to more rewarding work and better mental health outcomes. The mental health of workers is of concern for occupational health practitioners. Aim of study: To describe and synthesize interventions which positively impact the mental health and wellness of rescue workers. Design: The guiding framework by Whittemore and Knafl (2005), was used in conducting an integrative literature review. The study included the following 5 stages: problem identification, literature search, data evaluation, data analysis and presentation of findings. Method: Database searches were conducted in SCOPUS, PsycINFO, ProQuest, PubMed and EBSCOhost to identify studies in English including grey literature, from January 2010 to December 2019. A total of 241 papers were retrieved, with 74 of those being read in depth and 19 being selected based on the selection criteria. Results: Five themes were identified during this study. Commitment to humanity, The intrinsic nature of rescue work, Rescue workers are also the survivors of trauma, Health related quality of life, and Mental health support. Conclusion: A more proactive managerial involvement in the resourcing, training and support of rescue workers as well as a review of the policies surrounding their occupational conditions were factors which stood to potentially improve mental health outcomes. Occupational conditions included: length of shifts, the fostering of family and community support, and the integration and provision for leisure activities for their therapeutic benefit.
dc.description.librarianTL (2024)
dc.facultyFaculty of Health Sciences
dc.schoolTherapeutic Sciences
dc.subjectRescue workers
dc.subjectMental health
dc.titleInterventions which promote mental health among rescue workers: an integrative literature review
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