Interventions to reduce psychosocial disturbance following humanitarian relief efforts involving natural disasters: an integrative review

Int J Nurs Pract. 2009 Aug;15(4):231-40. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-172X.2009.01766.x.


Because of the increased level of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) reported post disaster work, it is imperative that governmental and non-governmental agencies consider predisaster training of volunteers in not only clinical skills, but also communication and team building. When these concepts are combined with ongoing support post disaster, a decrease in the frequency and severity of PTSD has been reported. A review of 12 studies examined responses of relief workers to various disaster situations. Experiences were extracted, categorized, and a data reduction model was developed to illustrate the characteristics of the experiences and subsequent interventions that were reported. Three interventions that positively affected the responses of relief workers to disaster experiences emerged: debriefing, team building and preparation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Altruism*
  • Disasters*
  • Humans
  • Psychology*
  • Relief Work / organization & administration*
  • Stress, Psychological / prevention & control*