Author(s): Taylor AJ, Frazer AG
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Abstract Personnel involved with the recovery and identification of bodies following the Mount Erebus aircrash were interviewed and tested. They gave information about the stressors of the assignment and their reactions to them. The outcome revealed that about a third of the subjects experienced some transient problems initially, and about one-fifth after three months. At a 20-month follow-up there was still some evidence of subjects being under stress. In this study, disaster stress was seen as a complex interaction between environmental and task stressors, job competency, perceptual and emotional defenses, management and follow-up support. It was suggested that levels of stress might be reduced if emotional de-briefing were introduced as a routine matter, alongside logistic de-briefing at the end of any similar operation. The procedure would help to ventilate any negative feelings there might be and to offer additional help should it be needed.
This article was published in J Human Stress
and referenced in Journal of Trauma & Treatment