Promoting posttraumatic growth in police recruits : preliminary results of a randomised controlled resilience intervention trial

Shakespeare-Finch, Jane E., Shochet, Ian M., Roos, Colette R., Craig, Cameron, Armstrong, Deanne, Young, Ross McD., & Wurfl, Astrid (2014) Promoting posttraumatic growth in police recruits : preliminary results of a randomised controlled resilience intervention trial. In 2014 Australian and New Zealand Disaster and Emergency Management Conference: Book of Proceedings - Peer Reviewed, Association for Sustainability in Business Inc., QT Hotel Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise, QLD, pp. 1-18.

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Recent research has demonstrated that the same experiences that may elicit symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in emergency service personnel can also provide a catalyst for positive personal changes such as posttraumatic growth (PTG). In this research newly recruited police officers (N = 412) participated in a randomised control trial of a program specifically designed to promote mental health. On entry to the academy, new recruits were randomly allocated, by classrooms, to either a treatment as usual condition (i.e., existing psychoeducation program) or to the intervention group. The Promoting Resilient Officers (PRO) program is a resilience building intervention adapted from an earlier resilience building program in collaboration with the police service. The PRO program also includes additional components on trauma and PTG. The current research included the participants who had experienced trauma prior to or during the research period (N = 246). It was hypothesised that participation in the PRO program would increase levels of PTG and lower levels of PTSD when compared to recruits in the control condition. Using multilevel modelling and post-hoc analyses, results indicated there were significantly higher levels of PTG across multiple dimensions when compared to the control group. There was no effect on PTSD symptoms with both conditions showing a floor effect. The research indicated the potential value of developing interventions that elicit reflections on the potential for positive as well as negative outcomes of experiencing traumatic and other highly challenging events.

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ID Code: 73084
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: posttraumatic growth, police, trauma, intervention, resilience
ISBN: 978-1-922232-13-7
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Health Clinical and Counselling Psychology (170106)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Emergency & Disaster Management
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 26 Jun 2014 22:23
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2015 21:15

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