The psychological aftermath of disaster causes significant long-term psychiatric disability and suffering to victims and rescuers alike. This paper examines the effectiveness of psychological debriefing (PD), an early intervention that is widely used and claimed to reduce long-term psychiatric morbidity in the wake of disaster. Numerous factors hamper the design of methodologically sound research in this field and there is a lack of controlled studies supporting the efficacy of PD. Further research is needed to demonstrate the effectiveness of any immediate psychological intervention before significant resources are allocated to their routine provision.
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