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Contents & Abstracts
Volume 2009-1

The Australasian Journal of Disaster
and Trauma Studies
ISSN:  1174-4707
Volume : 2009-1


Responding to the Unexpected: Emergency response, community and societal implications
by Douglas Paton


Post-Disaster Psychosocial Support: A framework from lessons learnt through programmes in South-Asia
by Dr Satyabrata Dash, M.D.
Keywords: Post disaster, situation, literature, review, efficacy, model framework
The article reviews post disaster situations and psychosocial issues in three South Asian countries – Maldives, Srilanka and Bangladesh and also reviews available literature on psychosocial support programme interventions and their efficacy. It attempts to provide a rationale for long term community based psychosocial support programming as a continuum from emergency response and proposes a simple and generic model framework for operation in the field

Link to full paper

A Report On Traumatised and Non Traumatised Children’s Human Figure Drawings Reflecting Emotional Effects of Disastrous Conditions
by Elif Celebi Oncu, Berrin Akman, Tulin Guler & Tugba Karaaslan
Keywords: Traumatised children, human figure drawings (HFDs), emotional expressions

Human figure drawings (HFD) are seen as a tool for assesing children’s emotional and behavioral problems. It is assumed that children affected from a traumatising event like a disaster could reflect their emotions safely in their drawings. In the present research we aimed to analyze and interpret the HFDs of six year old disaster victimized children. Two groups of children, traumatised (n =27) and nontraumatised (n =37) were selected. After representing the emotional expressions depicted on cards, they were asked to draw an illustration person reflecting emotions of happiness, anger, fear, excitement and desperation. Drawings were analyzed using figure size, lack of basic parts, use of colors and forms of depicting emotions. It was factual that, traumatised children produced pictures reflecting their emotional state and desire concerning about the events they had experienced. On the otherside nontraumatised children’s drawings reflected their physical desire. Implications of these facts are discussed in this report.

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Coping Strategies and Professional Quality of Life Among Emergency Workers
by Gabriele Prati, Luigi Palestini and Luca Pietrantoni
Keywords: emergency workers; coping strategies; quality of life

Emergency workers must cope with a wide range of critical incidents. Scientific literature is increasingly documenting the way emergency workers deal with these events and the relation of their coping responses to quality of life. This study found that Italian emergency workers (N=1200) were most likely to engage in the use of acceptance (M=3.72, SD=0.78), planning (M=3.44, SD=0.83), active coping (M=3.32, SD=0.87), instrumental support (M=2.94, SD=0.96) and positive reframing (M=2.81, SD=0.93) and less likely to resort to substance use (M=1.04, SD=0.35), denial (M=1.31, SD=0.60) and behavioral disengagement (M=1.57, SD=0.66). Additionally, we identified second order dimensions of coping that offer support for the empirically derived categories of coping (problem-focused coping, avoidance, meaning-focused coping and social support coping). Finally, avoidance coping emerged as risk factor for professional quality of life while problem-focused coping promoted compassion satisfaction.

Link to full paper

Policies to Deal With Natural Disasters in View of a Social Business Partnership Model
by Md. Abdur Raquib, Md. Wahid Murad, R. N. Anantharaman & Uchenna Cyril Eze
Keywords: Natural disasters, preparedness and resiliency, social capital, social creativity, social business partnership model
This paper encompasses and systematically analyses available literatures on disaster resiliency, and poverty alleviation issues and proposes a Social Business Partnership Model based on the concept of social creativity, social capital and principles of reciprocity of social exchange theory. Disaster or emergency management research holds a transparent gap in addressing emerging “social business” issue, which is immensely important for both the poverty-stricken developing countries and wealthy nations. Although much have been said about disaster resiliency and further international aid efforts could somewhat have healed the immediate effects of natural disasters, but such efforts tantamount to temporary resilience – not a permanent one due to pressing concerns of poverty. Proposed social business partnership model will benefit richer countries to enhance their wealth by effectively contributing to economies and sustainable activities of developing countries, instead of their one-way attachment with disaster aid operations. At the same time, vast population of poverty-shattered developing nations will be able to create social capital that would enable them to achieve a long-term disaster resiliency and social sustainability.

Link to full paper

Recruitment and Retention of Red Cross Disaster Volunteers
by Christine Steerman Ph.D and Valerie Cole Ph.D
Keywords: disaster, volunteer, retention, disaster mental health
Recent catastrophic disasters have highlighted the unique challenges of recruitment, training, and retention of disaster volunteers. The demand is sporadic and varying with a high rate of turnover. While research exists on volunteers in general, there is a lack of information on disaster volunteers. Regular Disaster and Disaster Mental Health volunteers from the American Red Cross in Rochester, New York were surveyed to explore factors that may contribute to turnover, including motivation, the importance of a specific disaster, and reasons for either becoming inactive or continuing. Results suggested that those who volunteer in response to a specific disaster differ little from those who respond at other times. Similarly, there are few differences between regular disaster volunteers and disaster mental health volunteers other than education and employment variables. Recommendations to improve disaster volunteer retention and future research are offered.

Link to full paper

Short Communications

The Chinese Medical Response in Wenchuan Earthquake Relief : Experience of Rescue Team Member
by Feng Cao, MD., PhD., Zheng Guo, MD., PhD., Weiping Liu, MD., Kai Liu, MD. & Lize Xiong, MD., PhD

Keywords: China; Earthquake relief; Medical rescue

Wenchuan Earthquake was the worst earthquake in China during past 30 years which left 69185 dead. Chinese medical responses were prompt and considerable to provide rescue services. We found that This sudden disaster and subsequent rescue work may have some implications for future practice, while continuing help is still needed for the local residents despite the completion of the early rescue work.

Link to full paper

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