The organization of post-disaster psychosocial support in the Netherlands : a meta-synthesis



Background: Despite numerous calls for a more evidence-based provision of post-disaster psychosocial support, systematic analyses of post-disaster service delivery are scarce.



Objective: The aim of this review was to evaluate the organization of post-disaster psychosocial support in different disaster settings and to identify determinants.



Methods: We conducted a meta-synthesis of scientific literature and evaluations of post-disaster psychosocial support after 12 Dutch disasters and major crises between 1992 and 2014. We applied systematic search and snowballing methods and included 80 evaluations, as well as grey and scientific documents.



Results: Many documents focus on the prevalence of mental health problems. Only a few documents primarily assess the organization of post-disaster psychosocial support and its determinants. The material illustrates how, over the course of two decades, the organizational context of post-disaster psychosocial support in the Netherlands has been influenced by changes in legislation, policy frameworks, evidence-based guidelines, and the instalment of formal expertise structures to support national and local governments and public services. Recurring organizational issues in response to events are linked to interrelated evaluation themes such as planning, training, registration, provision of information and social acknowledgement. For each evaluation theme, we identify factors helping or hindering the psychosocial support organization during the preparedness, acute and recovery phases.



Conclusions: The meta-synthesis illustrates that psychosocial service delivery has grown from a monodisciplinary to a multidisciplinary field over time. Suboptimal interprofessional collaboration poses a recurring threat to service quality. Despite the development of the knowledge base, post-disaster psychosocial support in the Netherlands lacks a systematic and critical appraisal of its functioning. Further professionalization is coupled with the strengthening of evaluation and learning routines.

Jurriaan Jacobs, Marjolaine Oosterbeek, Lars G. Tummers, Mirko Noordegraaf, Joris Yzermans and Michel L. A. Dückers | 2019
In: European Journal of Psychotraumatology, ISSN 2000-8198 ; eISSN 2000-8066 | 10 | 1 | 1544024
Disasters, Health Care Policy, Health Care Quality, Literature Review, Mental health care, Netherlands, Post-disaster, Professional Standards, Professionals, Program Evaluation, Psychosocial support
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