Systematic Review of Psychological First Aid

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There is an absence of direct evidence for the effectiveness of PFA but indirect evidence supports the delivery of services based on the principles of PFA in the first few weeks after a traumatic event. We agree that when delivered PFA should be consistent with research evidence on risk and resilience following trauma; applicable and practical in field settings; appropriate for developmental levels  across the lifespan; and culturally informed and delivered in a flexible manner.

Attempts to develop early interventions that can prevent the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depressive disorders, anxiety disorders and substance use disorders have yielded disappointing results and there remains considerable debate regarding how best to respond to the psychosocial needs of those affected by traumatic events.

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