Impact of stressful events on motivations, self-efficacy, and development of post-traumatic symptoms among youth volunteers in emergency medical services

Eleni Roditi, Moran Bodas, Eli Jaffe, Haim Y. Knobler, Bruria Adini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

During the last decades, Israeli emergency medical services (EMS) personnel has been exposed to different potentially traumatic events, including mass terror attacks. The aims of the present study were to identify how potentially traumatic events affect young volunteers in their motivation to volunteer and their perceived self-efficacy while being at risk of developing post-traumatic symptoms. The final sample included 236 Magen David Adom (MDA, the "Israeli Red Cross") youth volunteers. The study evaluated their motivational factors for volunteering, perceived self-efficacy, participation in potentially traumatic events, and post-traumatic symptoms. Over two-thirds of the volunteers participated in a traumatic event on duty. Volunteers who were involved in potentially stressful events scored higher levels of post-traumatic symptoms, though still very low and subclinical. Nonetheless, participating in stressful events contributed to an increased sense of self-efficacy. No difference in post-traumatic symptom levels was observed between volunteers who partook in mass casualty incidents and those who did not. The results demonstrate that MDA youth volunteers may mostly benefit from participating in situations requiring the administration of emergency medicine, even stressful ones. They may help to find ways to empower the volunteers and increase their resilience.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1613
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume16
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2019

Keywords

  • EMS
  • Post-traumatic symptoms
  • Self-efficacy
  • Volunteering motivations
  • Youth volunteers

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