The development of a model of psychological first aid for non-mental health trained public health personnel: The Johns Hopkins RAPID-PFA

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Abstract

Introduction: The Johns Hopkins Center for Public Health Preparedness, which houses the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center, has been addressing the challenge of disaster-caused behavioral health surge by conducting training programs in psychological first aid (PFA) for public health professionals. This report describes our approach, named RAPID-PFA, and summarizes training evaluation data to determine if relevant knowledge, skills, and attitudes are imparted to trainees to support effective PFA delivery. Background/Rationale: In the wake of disasters, there is an increase in psychological distress and dysfunction among survivors and first responders. To meet the challenges posed by this surge, a professional workforce trained in PFA is imperative. Methods/Activity: More than 1500 participants received a 1-day RAPID-PFA training. Pre-/postassessments were conducted to measure (a) required knowledge to apply PFA; (b) perceived self-efficacy, that is, belief in one's own ability, to apply PFA techniques; and (c) confidence in one's own resilience in a crisis context. Statistical techniques were used to validate the extent to which the survey successfully measured individual PFA constructs, that is, unidimensionality, and to quantify the reliability of the assessment tool. Results/Outcome: Statistically significant pre-/postimprovements were observed in (a) knowledge items supportive of PFA delivery, (b) perceived self-efficacy to apply PFA interventions, and (c) confidence about being a resilient PFA provider. Cronbach alpha coefficients ranging from 0.87 to 0.90 suggested that the self-reported measures possessed sufficient internal consistency. Discussion: Findings were consistent with our pilot work, and with our complementary research initiatives validating a variant of RAPID-PFA with faith communities. Lessons Learned/Next Steps: The RAPID-PFA model promises to be a broadly applicable approach to extending community behavioral health surge capacity. Relevant next steps include evaluating the effectiveness of trained providers in real crisis situations, and determining if PFA training may have potential beyond the disaster context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Public Health Management and Practice
Volume20
Issue numberSUPPL. 5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Fingerprint

Psychological Models
First Aid
Health Personnel
Public Health
Psychology
Health
Disasters
Self Efficacy
Surge Capacity
Civil Defense
Aptitude

Keywords

  • Competencies
  • Disaster mental health
  • Psychological first aid
  • Public health emergency preparedness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Policy

Cite this

@article{b5d11849fe054a8386502db9c009baa3,
title = "The development of a model of psychological first aid for non-mental health trained public health personnel: The Johns Hopkins RAPID-PFA",
abstract = "Introduction: The Johns Hopkins Center for Public Health Preparedness, which houses the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center, has been addressing the challenge of disaster-caused behavioral health surge by conducting training programs in psychological first aid (PFA) for public health professionals. This report describes our approach, named RAPID-PFA, and summarizes training evaluation data to determine if relevant knowledge, skills, and attitudes are imparted to trainees to support effective PFA delivery. Background/Rationale: In the wake of disasters, there is an increase in psychological distress and dysfunction among survivors and first responders. To meet the challenges posed by this surge, a professional workforce trained in PFA is imperative. Methods/Activity: More than 1500 participants received a 1-day RAPID-PFA training. Pre-/postassessments were conducted to measure (a) required knowledge to apply PFA; (b) perceived self-efficacy, that is, belief in one's own ability, to apply PFA techniques; and (c) confidence in one's own resilience in a crisis context. Statistical techniques were used to validate the extent to which the survey successfully measured individual PFA constructs, that is, unidimensionality, and to quantify the reliability of the assessment tool. Results/Outcome: Statistically significant pre-/postimprovements were observed in (a) knowledge items supportive of PFA delivery, (b) perceived self-efficacy to apply PFA interventions, and (c) confidence about being a resilient PFA provider. Cronbach alpha coefficients ranging from 0.87 to 0.90 suggested that the self-reported measures possessed sufficient internal consistency. Discussion: Findings were consistent with our pilot work, and with our complementary research initiatives validating a variant of RAPID-PFA with faith communities. Lessons Learned/Next Steps: The RAPID-PFA model promises to be a broadly applicable approach to extending community behavioral health surge capacity. Relevant next steps include evaluating the effectiveness of trained providers in real crisis situations, and determining if PFA training may have potential beyond the disaster context.",
keywords = "Competencies, Disaster mental health, Psychological first aid, Public health emergency preparedness",
author = "George Everly and McCabe, {Oliver Lee} and Semon, {Natalie Lynn} and Carol Thompson and Links, {Jonathan M}",
year = "2014",
doi = "10.1097/PHH.0000000000000065",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "20",
journal = "Journal of Public Health Management and Practice",
issn = "1078-4659",
publisher = "Lippincott Williams and Wilkins",
number = "SUPPL. 5",

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T1 - The development of a model of psychological first aid for non-mental health trained public health personnel

T2 - The Johns Hopkins RAPID-PFA

AU - Everly, George

AU - McCabe, Oliver Lee

AU - Semon, Natalie Lynn

AU - Thompson, Carol

AU - Links, Jonathan M

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - Introduction: The Johns Hopkins Center for Public Health Preparedness, which houses the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center, has been addressing the challenge of disaster-caused behavioral health surge by conducting training programs in psychological first aid (PFA) for public health professionals. This report describes our approach, named RAPID-PFA, and summarizes training evaluation data to determine if relevant knowledge, skills, and attitudes are imparted to trainees to support effective PFA delivery. Background/Rationale: In the wake of disasters, there is an increase in psychological distress and dysfunction among survivors and first responders. To meet the challenges posed by this surge, a professional workforce trained in PFA is imperative. Methods/Activity: More than 1500 participants received a 1-day RAPID-PFA training. Pre-/postassessments were conducted to measure (a) required knowledge to apply PFA; (b) perceived self-efficacy, that is, belief in one's own ability, to apply PFA techniques; and (c) confidence in one's own resilience in a crisis context. Statistical techniques were used to validate the extent to which the survey successfully measured individual PFA constructs, that is, unidimensionality, and to quantify the reliability of the assessment tool. Results/Outcome: Statistically significant pre-/postimprovements were observed in (a) knowledge items supportive of PFA delivery, (b) perceived self-efficacy to apply PFA interventions, and (c) confidence about being a resilient PFA provider. Cronbach alpha coefficients ranging from 0.87 to 0.90 suggested that the self-reported measures possessed sufficient internal consistency. Discussion: Findings were consistent with our pilot work, and with our complementary research initiatives validating a variant of RAPID-PFA with faith communities. Lessons Learned/Next Steps: The RAPID-PFA model promises to be a broadly applicable approach to extending community behavioral health surge capacity. Relevant next steps include evaluating the effectiveness of trained providers in real crisis situations, and determining if PFA training may have potential beyond the disaster context.

AB - Introduction: The Johns Hopkins Center for Public Health Preparedness, which houses the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center, has been addressing the challenge of disaster-caused behavioral health surge by conducting training programs in psychological first aid (PFA) for public health professionals. This report describes our approach, named RAPID-PFA, and summarizes training evaluation data to determine if relevant knowledge, skills, and attitudes are imparted to trainees to support effective PFA delivery. Background/Rationale: In the wake of disasters, there is an increase in psychological distress and dysfunction among survivors and first responders. To meet the challenges posed by this surge, a professional workforce trained in PFA is imperative. Methods/Activity: More than 1500 participants received a 1-day RAPID-PFA training. Pre-/postassessments were conducted to measure (a) required knowledge to apply PFA; (b) perceived self-efficacy, that is, belief in one's own ability, to apply PFA techniques; and (c) confidence in one's own resilience in a crisis context. Statistical techniques were used to validate the extent to which the survey successfully measured individual PFA constructs, that is, unidimensionality, and to quantify the reliability of the assessment tool. Results/Outcome: Statistically significant pre-/postimprovements were observed in (a) knowledge items supportive of PFA delivery, (b) perceived self-efficacy to apply PFA interventions, and (c) confidence about being a resilient PFA provider. Cronbach alpha coefficients ranging from 0.87 to 0.90 suggested that the self-reported measures possessed sufficient internal consistency. Discussion: Findings were consistent with our pilot work, and with our complementary research initiatives validating a variant of RAPID-PFA with faith communities. Lessons Learned/Next Steps: The RAPID-PFA model promises to be a broadly applicable approach to extending community behavioral health surge capacity. Relevant next steps include evaluating the effectiveness of trained providers in real crisis situations, and determining if PFA training may have potential beyond the disaster context.

KW - Competencies

KW - Disaster mental health

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KW - Public health emergency preparedness

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