Topic: Disasters, terror and stress management

The Tsunami programme Part 3: Intervention personnel and journalists

2005 This project has been completed 2009

Project Manager

Project Members

Main objective

The purpose of the study is to investigate coping strategies used by intervention personnel during and after the disaster, as well as any consequences to health in the various groups of intervention personnel, and to identify protection and risk factors, subsequent to the disaster. We will investigate the following issues:

  • Study of coping techniques: Can we identify special protective factors associated with management and organization, individual stress mastery, rituals, acknowledgement therapy, group morale or support measures following care intervention?
  • What support measures have the intervention personnel assessed as useful during and after disaster intervention?
  • Exposure to potentially traumatizing events: What types of exposure have the various intervention personnel been exposed to?
  • What are the occurrences of posttraumatic stress reactions and general health complaints in the various groups of intervention personnel?
  • Are occurrences of posttraumatic stress reactions and general health complaints fewer in intervention personnel who were trained, prepared and organized when compared with intervention personnel who were not trained, prepared and organized?
  • What risk factors can be identified for the development of posttraumatic stress reactions and general health complaints among intervention personnel?


Cross-sectional survey. Questionnaire.

Despite the fact that many of the families were strongly affected by the tsunami, the interviewers were met in a highly positive and cooperative manner by parents and their children. Many felt it was good to be able to tell their story without interference, and everyone felt that it was important to be able to share their experiences so that the authorities and health personnel are able to be better prepared in the event of new disasters.


Thoresen, S. (2007). Mestring og stress hos innsatspersonell og journalister mobilisert til Tsunamikatastrofen [Stress management and experienced stress in crisis relief personnel and journalist deployed to the Tsunami disaster area.] Norwegian only. Oslo: Nasjonalt kunnskapssenter om vold og traumatisk stress. (Rapport 2/2007).