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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.

Original publication




Journal article


Emergency Medicine Journal

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