Adaptive and Maladaptive Coping Strategies Predict Posttrauma Outcomes in Ambulance Personnel

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Abstract

Attending potentially dangerous and traumatic incidents is inherent in the role of emergency workers, yet there is a paucity of literature aimed at examining variables that impact on the outcomes of such exposure. Coping has been implicated in adjusting to trauma in other contexts, and this study explored the effectiveness of coping strategies in relation to positive and negative posttrauma outcomes in the emergency services environment. One hundred twenty-five paramedics completed a survey battery including the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI; Tedeschi & Calhoun, 1996), the Impact of Events Scale–Revised (IES-R; Weiss & Marmar, 1997), and the Revised-COPE (Zuckerman & Gagne, 2003). Results from the regression analysis demonstrated that specific coping strategies were differentially associated with positive and negative posttrauma outcomes. The research contributes to a more comprehensive understanding regarding the effectiveness of coping strategies employed by paramedics in managing trauma, with implications for their psychological well-being as well as the training and support services available.

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