psychological debriefing is an effective crisis intervention. This beneficial effect was revealed despite the wide variety of S groups (e.g., emergency workers, adult victims), the wide range of traumatic events (e.g., mass shooting, hurricane), and the diversity of outcome measures (e.g., Impact of Events Scale, Beck Depression Inventory).
Devilly, G. J. & Cotton, P. (2003). Australian Psychologist, 38(2). 144-150.
Critical incident stress debriefing (CISD), a specific form of psychological debriefing, has gained widespread acceptance and implementation in the few short years since it was first proposed (Mitchell, 1983). However, there has been recent doubt cast on this practice and confusion regarding the terminology used. This article explores the claims frequently made by proponents regarding its use, counterclaims of ineffectiveness by its detractors, and general consensus regarding its specific use and the use of more generic psychological debriefing. We conclude that the recently introduced critical incident stress management (CISM) and its proposed progenitor, CISD, are currently poorly defined and relatively indistinct in the treatment-outcome literature and should be treated similarly. Current outcome expert consensus and meta-analytic reviews suggest that CISD is possibly noxious, generic psychological debriefing is probably inert and that more emphasis should be placed on screening for, and providing, early intervention to those who go on to develop pathological reactions. A set of generic guidelines for the minimisation and management of workplace traumatic stress responses is also proposed.
Webb, C. A., DeRubeis, R. J. & Barber, J. P. (2010). Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 78(2), 200-211.
Objective: The authors conducted a meta-analytic review of adherence–outcome and competence–outcome findings, and examined plausible moderators of these relations. Method: A computerized search of the PsycINFO database was conducted. In addition, the reference sections of all obtained studies were examined for any additional relevant articles or review chapters. The literature search identified 36 studies that met the inclusion criteria. Results: R-type effect size estimates were derived from 32 adherence–outcome and 17 competence–outcome findings. Neither the mean weighted adherence–outcome (r = .02) nor competence–outcome (r = .07) effect size estimates were found to be significantly different from zero. Significant heterogeneity was observed across both the adherence–outcome and competence–outcome effect size estimates, suggesting that the individual studies were not all drawn from the same population. Moderator analyses revealed that larger competence–outcome effect size estimates were associated with studies that either targeted depression or did not control for the influence of the therapeutic alliance. Conclusions: One explanation for these results is that, among the treatment modalities represented in this review, therapist adherence and competence play little role in determining symptom change. However, given the significant heterogeneity observed across findings, mean effect sizes must be interpreted with caution. Factors that may account for the nonsignificant adherence–outcome and competence–outcome findings reported within many of the studies reviewed are addressed. Finally, the implication of these results and directions for future process research are discussed.
Seligman, M. E. P. (1995). The Effectiveness of Psychotherapy: The Consumer Reports Study.