Evaluation of the continuous stress intervention programme on trauma symptoms and coping responses.
The present study evaluated the effect of the Continuous Stress Intervention Programme (CSIP) on trauma symptoms and coping strategies. The programme was implemented with a group of police officers from a specialised unit who daily experience extremely difficult and at times traumatic work conditions. Data was gathered before and after the implementation of the CSIP. A quasi - experimental design approach was adopted with a control group who had no intervention and an intervention- experimental group, who participated in the programme. Data was gathered from questionnaires with instruments that measured trauma symptomatology and coping strategies, both in the pre- and post -intervention periods. The control group consisted of eight police officers, while the experimental group consisted of 24 police officers. Data was analysed using a frequency count of scores, and a mixed between-within analysis of variance, using the SPSS (Version 11) statistical computer package. The results of the study showed that the Continuous Stress Intervention programme did not have a significant effect between the experimental and control groups, on trauma symptoms, but the trauma symptoms of the experimental group decreased from the pre- assessment to the post -assessment at a greater rate. In addition, in terms of the coping responses, the results of the study were significant for only one of the sub - scales, between the experimental and control groups, while there was an increase in positive coping strategies for the experimental group. The results were discussed in terms of epidemiological studies conducted previously in the area of trauma research. Recommendations were made pertaining to the inclusion of support mechanisms for the spouses of police officers, as well as the inclusion of coping strategies to deal with specific organisational problems within the programme.