Exploring the psychological health of emergency dispatch centre operatives: a systematic review and narrative synthesis

Golding, Sarah E. and Horsfield, Claire and Davies, Annette and Egan, Bernadette and Jones, Martyn and Raleigh, Mary and Schofield, Patricia and Squires, Allison and Start, Kath and Quinn, Tom and Cropley, Mark (2017) Exploring the psychological health of emergency dispatch centre operatives: a systematic review and narrative synthesis. PeerJ, 5. e3735. ISSN 2167-8359

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.3735

Abstract

Background. The study objective was to investigate and synthesize available evidence relating to the psychological health of Emergency Dispatch Centre (EDC) operatives, and to identify key stressors experienced by EDC operatives. Methods. Eight electronic databases (Embase, PubMed, Medline, CINAHL, PsycInfo, PsycArticles, The Psychology and Behavioural Sciences Collection, and Google Scholar) were searched. All study designs were included, and no date limits were set. Studies were included if they were published in English, and explored the psychological health of any EDC operatives, across fire, police, and emergency medical services. Studies were excluded if they related solely to other emergency workers, such as police officers or paramedics. Methodological quality of included studies was assessed using checklists adapted from the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme. A narrative synthesis was conducted, using thematic analysis. Results. A total of 16 articles were included in the review. Two overarching themes were identified during the narrative synthesis: `Organisational and Operational Factors' and `Interactions with Others'. Stressors identified included being exposed to traumatic calls, lacking control over high workload, and working in under-resourced and pres- sured environments. Lack of support from management and providing an emotionally demanding service were additional sources of stress. Peer support and social support from friends and family were helpful in managing work-related stress. Discussion. EDC operatives experience stress as a result of their work, which appears to be related to negative psychological health outcomes. Future research should explore the long-term effects of this stress, and the potential for workplace interventions to alleviate the negative impacts on psychological health. PROSPERO Registration Number. CRD42014010806.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Emergency disptach, Emergency call centres, Psychological stress, Emotional stress, Job control, Systematic review, Psychological health
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Prof Pat Schofield
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2017 13:12
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2019 16:10
URI: http://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/702352

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