The Association Between Dissatisfaction with Debriefing and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Rescue and Recovery Workers for the Oklahoma City Bombing

Duy Vu Tran, Carol S North

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate potential association between psychopathology and subjective evaluation of the experience of debriefing in disaster-exposed rescue and recovery workers. Methods: Structured diagnostic interviews for DSM-III-R psychiatric disorders were conducted with 166 firefighters who served as rescue and recovery workers for the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, who categorized their satisfaction with the debriefing on 4 levels. Very dissatisfied responses were examined for their association with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and with PTSD symptom groups. Results: Being very dissatisfied with the debriefing was significantly associated with the DSM-III-R avoidance and numbing group and with PTSD. Conclusions: These findings suggest that debriefing may be an unsatisfactory intervention for people with prominent avoidance and numbing symptoms, such as those with PTSD. These individuals might be better served by referral directly to psychiatric treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)718-722
Number of pages5
JournalDisaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018



  • PTSD
  • avoidance and numbing
  • crisis intervention
  • debriefing
  • disaster responders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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