Psychological Factors in the Wellbeing of First Responder Populations

Parker, Beth and Eccles, Fiona and Ashton, Amy (2023) Psychological Factors in the Wellbeing of First Responder Populations. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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The thesis comprises a literature review on dispositional mindfulness and wellbeing in first responders, an empirical paper on emotional intelligence (EI), self-compassion and wellbeing in ambulance staff, and a critical appraisal of key issues in the empirical paper. The first paper is a systematic review of 27 quantitative studies, exploring the relationship between dispositional mindfulness and wellbeing in first responders. Four databases were searched: PsycInfo, Medline, CINAHL and EmCare. Dispositional mindfulness was associated with fewer negative psychological and physical wellbeing outcomes and greater positive wellbeing outcomes. Dispositional mindfulness attenuated the negative effect of mental health symptoms and stress on wellbeing. Longitudinal research would help determine causality in these relationships. The second paper describes a research project exploring the relationship between EI and self-compassion (self-coldness and self-kindness), professional quality of life (compassion satisfaction – CS; and compassion fatigue - CF) and psychological wellbeing in ambulance staff. Despite ambulance staff experiencing increased risk of negative wellbeing outcomes, no research has been conducted into the relative contribution of EI and self-compassion towards their wellbeing. 146 ambulance staff completed an online survey containing measures of EI, self-compassion, CS and CF, and psychological wellbeing. CF correlated negatively with EI and self-kindness, and positively with self-coldness; both CS and psychological wellbeing correlated positively with EI and self-kindness and negatively with self-coldness. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses found that greater self-coldness and years of experience predicted greater CF; greater EI and fewer years of experience predicted greater CS; and greater EI and lower self-coldness predicted greater psychological wellbeing. The findings indicate that interventions to enhance EI and reduce self-coldness could support ambulance staff wellbeing. The third paper critically appraises the research project, considering the conceptualisation and measurement of key variables: self-compassion, CF and EI. It then addresses limitations of focusing on individual factors in ambulance staff wellbeing.

Item Type:
Thesis (PhD)
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Research Output Funding/no_not_funded
?? first responderambulance staffemotional intelligenceself-compassionwellbeingmindfulnessno - not funded ??
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Deposited On:
28 Jun 2023 09:00
Last Modified:
16 Jul 2024 06:04