Early psychosocial interventions after disasters, terrorism and other shocking events: is there a gap between norms and practice in Europe?

Background: Internationally, several initiatives exist to describe standards for post-disaster psychosocial care. Objective: This study explored the level of consensus of experts within Europe on a set of recommendations on early psychosocial intervention after shocking events (Dutch guidelines), and to what degree these standards are implemented into mental health care practice. Methods: Two hundred and six (mental) health care professionals filled out a questionnaire to assess the extent to which they consider the guidelines’ scope and recommendations relevant and part of the regular practice in their own country. Forty-five European experts from 24 EU countries discussed the guidelines at an international seminar. Results: The data suggest overall agreement on the standards although many of the recommendations appear not (yet) to be embedded in everyday practice. Conclusions: Although large consensus exists on standards for early psychosocial care, a chasm between norms and practice appears to exist throughout the EU, stressing the general need for investments in guideline development and implementation.

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Brake Ht,Dückers M, | 2013
European journal of psychotraumatology | 4
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