THE ROLE OF PSYCHOLOGICAL INTERVENTIONS FOR TREATING ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION
Keywords:firefighter, critical incident, depression, anxiety, psychological intervention, Hamilton Depression Scale, Hamilton Anxiety Scale
Goal:The present study investigates the efficiency of a psychological intervention for firefighters who show symptoms of depression and anxiety. What motivates this study is the fact that the psychologist within the inspectorates for emergency situations must not only evaluate and monitor firefightersâ€Ÿ psychological evolution, but also to intervene in a preventive or therapeutic way.
Methods and instruments: Out of the firefighters we evaluated periodically, we selected 19 individuals who showed higher level of depression and anxiety symptoms, in order to include them in a psychological intervention program. The intervention targeted cognitive aspects: positive reformulation of experiences, emotional aspects: awareness and acceptance of intense emotions and a behavioral aspect: development of new or improved coping strategies. The intervention comprised of six meeting. Pre-intervention and post-intervention psychological assessment was done with Hamilton Depression Scale and Hamilton Anxiety Scale.
Results: The scores for depression and anxiety symptoms, for the entire lot, were significantly lower post-intervention than those pre-intervention, showing a decrease in the intensity of symptoms. Yet, 4 of the 19 subjects showed stagnation or an increase of scores, indicating no improvement of symptoms.
Conclusions: The short intervention we proposed had positive outcomes in most cases, 79% of participants showed significant decrease in symptoms. In the cases were the intervention showed no improvements we intend to continue it with the consent of participants.
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