Which rescue workers benefit from preventive training in self-management to improve mental health?

A.H.M. Bakker*, Marc van Veldhoven, A.W.K. Gaillard, Remy Hertogs

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


The purpose of this study was to shed light on the question which rescue workers benefit from training in mental health self-management skills. The effectiveness of this training was examined in 79 respondents. The sample contained 38 policemen and 41 ambulance personnel. The effectiveness of the current training was evaluated by measuring the functioning in five private life tasks, metacognitive awareness and coping self-efficacy prior to and after the training. The influence of critical incident exposure, age and personality on intervention effectiveness was also evaluated. The results showed non-significant increases at T2 in perceived effectiveness for the life tasks: Social life and Maintaining mental health. In the scores on two other life tasks (Household and finance and Maintaining Positivity) no significant differences were found. The fifth life task, Giving meaning, was marginally lower at T2. The scales metacognitive awareness and coping self- efficacy showed no significant change. Analyses on differential training effects showed that respondents who experienced more critical incidents showed a smaller T2-T1 difference score on Giving meaning. Due to the small research group we can say with caution that this can indicate that individuals who have a lower exposure of critical incidents at T1, benefit more from these kinds of training schemes. Older respondents showed a smaller gain on Household and finance and Maintaining positivity between measurements, which might indicate that individuals at a younger age might benefit more from the training.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Stress Prevention and Well-Being
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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