Analyzing resilience in a sample population as a novel qualifier for triage in psychological first aid
(1) Central Catholic High School, Lawrence, Massachusetts
The human capability to adapt in response to disaster is remarkable. Psychological first aid (PFA) is a method to preserve and nurture resilience after a disaster or traumatic experience and is a comparable first response strategy to medical first aid. Contrary to medical first aid, however, studies suggest that Rapport/Reflective listening, Assessment, Prioritization, Intervention, and Disposition-based PFA, or RAPID-PFA, the most prominent method of PFA today, does not utilize a system of triage, where degrees of urgency are assigned to victims during care. Understanding whether different people experience resilience differently is necessary in understanding whether triage could benefit PFA’s application in the field. Using data from 281 participants, we calculated resilience using a novel quantitative method of resilience analysis: a formula-based resilience index. We hypothesized that 1) younger individuals would be less resilient than older ones, 2) women would be more resilient than men, and 3) individuals of different races would be equally resilient. Our results showed that, while race did not affect resilience, people of different ages and different legal sexes do exhibit different levels of resilience. Children and adolescents scored lowest of all age subcategories and – contrary to our hypothesis - women scored lower on the resilience index than men. These findings suggest that age and sex may act as predictors of vulnerability for use in PFA triage. To supplement these findings before applications in the field, we should conduct further longitudinal studies with larger sample populations using the same methodology.
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