Training to improve resilience and coping to monitor PTSD in rescue workers




Background:few studies focus on the role training has on rescue workers who are active as volunteers or actual workers in emergency situations such as an earthquake. In October 2016, a strong earthquake hit Central Italy and in particular the province of Macerata in the Marche region. Lots of rescuers were called to deal with the emergency. The aim of this study was, therefore, to examine their preparation, studying resilience and coping strategies, as these qualities can protect against complications brought on by traumatic situations (post traumatic stress disorder). 

Study design: an observational study of 70 rescue workers who were active in the area affected by the disaster within the province of Macerata was carried out. 

Methods: the questionnaire proposed by the Coping Inventory for Stressful situations (CISS) was used, while individual levels of resilience were measured with the Resilience Scale. Both methods were employed in two separate interviews conducted before and after their intervention in the disaster area. 

Results: the sample showed medium to high levels of coping (91.6%) and resilience (89.6%) were present in both interviews. Some areas relative to coping mechanisms, such as social avoidance and distraction are preferred by women, while men prefer avoidance and task-oriented activity. Results for resilience show a slight difference for perseverance in men. 

Conclusions: the ability to use mechanisms of self-preservation like coping and resilience helps rescue workers to better respond in emergency situations. Surely one of the most appropriate ways to reach this result is provided by their preparation.


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