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Rationale for Early Psychological Intervention Among Disaster Actors in Nairobi County, Kenya

By Eunice K. Ndulu and Margaret Iyaya and Margaret Iyaya


The prevention of long-term psychological distress following traumatic events is a major concern for all. Providing early psychological intervention in disaster management is one of the major attempts in preventing Posttraumatic stress symptoms, which may lead to Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Traumatic events can have a significant impact on individuals’; families and community’s abilities to cope. Intense effect during a traumatic event and its accompanying psychological arousal have been associated with the development of PTSD. The National Disaster Management Policy, 2012 provides an integrated and coordinated disaster Risk management that focuses on preventing the risk of disasters, mitigating their severity, and effective response to disaster recovery. The policy put in place mechanisms to ensure that there is construction and recovery after disaster. However, less emphasis is placed on post-disaster trauma management, counseling services, psychosocial support services, and health services in order to ensure that disaster victims do not suffer from permanent or prolonged disaster-related effects. This study, therefore, sought to evaluate the impact of   early psychological intervention in preventing PTSD among disaster actors.  Research done in the area has shown very little information if any on psychological aspects in disaster management, yet this is the premises of vulnerability.  The specific objective of this study was to assess the rationale for early psychological intervention among disaster actors in Nairobi county, Kenya.  The study was guided by two psychological theories; cognitive behavior theory and constructivist self-development theory. Descriptive and correlational survey designs were adopted in the study, and purposive sampling was used to select the disaster actors that comprised of those who provide rescue services, those who provide first aid and those who provide psychosocial support. Directors and deputy directors were also sampled using the same technique. The simple random technique was used to select 400 disaster actors from various disaster response organizations.Purposive sampling was used to select key informants who included directors and deputy directors of disaster operation organizations. Same sampling technique was used in the selection of FGD participants. Data collection employed qualitative and quantitative techniques i.e., questionnaires, interviews, and Focus group discussions.  Document analysis guides assisted in gathering secondary data. Reliability of the instruments was done by the test-retest method. The data collected was coded and entered into the computer data sheet using the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) version 23.0. Descriptive and inferential statistics used in data analysis include frequencies, percentages. A SWOT analysis was also used. Results obtained were presented using tables, graphs, and pie charts. The study then came up with findings which will be significant to the disaster operation organizations in preventing PTSD among disaster actors in the aftermath of disasters in Kenya by giving new insights.  The study found out that: the study respondents overwhelmingly favored the need to provide early psychological intervention for disaster management with a percentage of 68 strongly agree and 32 % disagree. SWOT analysis revealed that disaster response organizations were rich with varied strengths and opportunities that were not adequately exploited towards prevention of PTSD among disaster actors. The findings of this study are significant in policymaking and mechanisms pertaining psychological support in recovery after disaster in Kenya emphasis being placed on post-disaster trauma management, counseling and psychosocial support services to ensure that disaster actors do not suffer from permanent or prolonged disaster-related effects. Keywords: Trauma, PTSD, Psychological intervention, Acute stress disorder, disaster actors, SWOT, Vicarious traumatization DOI: 10.7176/JEP/10-36-13 Publication date: December 31st 201

Publisher: The International Institute for Science, Technology and Education (IISTE)
Year: 2019
DOI identifier: 10.7176/JEP/10-36-13
OAI identifier: oai:ojs.localhost:article/50884

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