Cognitive appraisals, objectivity and coping in ambulance workers: A pilot study
Shepherd L., Wild J.
Objectives: Ambulance workers are regularly exposed to call-outs, which are potentially psychologically traumatic. The ability to remain objective and make adaptive appraisals during call-outs may be beneficial to this at-risk population. This pilot study investigated the links between cognitive appraisals, objectivity and coping in ambulance workers. Methods: Forty-five ambulance workers from the London Ambulance Service, UK, were studied. Trauma exposure, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression symptoms were assessed using self-report measures. Positive and negative appraisals were measured in relation to two previous call-outs: one during which they coped well and one during which they did not. Results: Enhanced coping was associated with making more positive appraisals during the call-out. Better coping was also related to greater levels of objectivity during these call-outs. Coping less well was associated with the use of more negative appraisals during the call-out. Conclusions: Ambulance workers may benefit from psychological interventions, which focus on cognitive reappraisal and enhancing objectivity to improve coping and resilience. Copyright Article author (or their employer) 2013.