1. In this scoping review, interventions targeting post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were assessed.

2. The main components of effective interventions were trauma-related education, psychological support from peers and trained professionals, as well as emotional and relaxation counselling.

Evidence Rating Level: 2 (Good)

Healthcare workers are particularly vulnerable to developing work-related PTSD due to increased exposure to possible precipitating events. PTSD introduces a significant decrease in quality of life and may impact ability to work. Accordingly, it is vital that interventions to support healthcare workers who develop PTSD are identified. Not only do the workers themselves benefit, but also the patients they treat as well as their colleagues.

The purpose of the present scoping review was to identify and summarize current interventions for PTSD in healthcare workers. Studies were included if participants had been exposed to trauma in a hospital, if an intervention for PTSD was investigated, if PTSD symptoms were measured using a validated scale, and if participants were adult healthcare workers. Manuscripts were excluded if they did not include primary research. Outcomes assessed were types of interventions as well as intervention efficacy at reducing PTSD symptoms.

Eight manuscripts were included discussing seven studies with a total of 859 participants. The most commonly used intervention was cognitive behavioral therapy followed by mindfulness-based interventions. Group workshops, writing therapy, and psychological assessment were also discussed. The three main principles consistent across interventions were increasing trauma-related knowledge, education on emotional regulation/relaxation, and peer/psychologist psychological support. Intervention duration ranged from two weeks to six months. Benefits of the interventions included increased wellbeing, resilience, teamwork, relaxing sleep, and awareness about trauma. The generalizability of the review is limited by the small number of studies as well as the heterogeneity of interventions and types of healthcare workers included. Nonetheless, this scoping review suggests that healthcare workers with PTSD may benefit both personally and in the workplace from targeted interventions.

Click to read the study in BMJ Open

Image: PD

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