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How a systematic review of the experiences of emergency first responder family members living with post-traumatic stress disorder can inform new models of care

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The impact and frequency of natural and man-made disasters and health crises, such as earthquakes, terrorist attacks, and pandemics, are increasingly dire for an ever-growing population. Emergency first responders (EFRs) who attend these events are more frequently associated with psychological risks, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As a result, it is crucial that we understand the experiences of family members of EFRs, who are also affected by the EFRs’ PTSD. Researchers have been aware of intergenerational impacts of trauma since the 1960s and the Holocaust generation; however, there has been little development of tailored support for EFR service families living with the risk and occurrence of PTSD. A systematic review in this issue of JBI Evidence Synthesis focuses on the experiences and perceptions of EFR family members, and shines a light on this phenomenon and the ripple effect of trauma in EFR service families. The findings encapsulate the available qualitative data from spouses and children, and highlight both the mental health and functional impacts, as well as their support needs. The findings also inform a set of recommendations for policy, research, and practice for a proposed new model of care.

  • Team/Investigators

    Karen May (Military and Emergency Services and Health Australia (MESHA)), Associate Professor Miranda Van Hooff (Military and Emergency Services and Health Australia (MESHA)), Dr Matthew Doherty (University of Adelaide), Marie Iannos (Military and Emergency Services Health Australia (MESHA))

  • Funding Body

    The Hospital Research Foundation Group

  • Expected Completion Date

    April 2023

  • Article Identifier

    DOI: 10.11124/JBIES-23-00083

  • Journal Title

    JBI Evidence Synthesis

  • Pagination


  • MeSH Terms

    Family Humans Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic* / therapy

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