• EAP-Based Critical Incident Stress Management: Utilization of a Practice–Based Assessment of Incident Severity Level in Responding to Workplace Trauma

      DeFraia, Gary S. (Chevron Publishing Corporation, 2013)
      Central to the field of trauma psychology is assessment of the impact of critical incidents on individuals, as measured by individual symptoms of stress. Accordingly, the trauma literature reflects a proliferation of clinical impact of event scales. Workplace incidents however, affect not only individual employees, but also work organizations, requiring a multi-level response. Critical incident stress management (CISM) is the most prevalent multi-level incident response strategy utilized by organizations, often through specialized CISM units operating within their employee assistance programs (EAPs). While EAP-based CISM units seeks to support both individuals and organizations, studies focused on individual stress dominate the literature, mirroring assessment scales that tend to emphasize clinical as opposed to organizational practice. This research contributes to less-prevalent studies exploring incident characteristics as disruptive to organizations, rather than clinical symptoms as disruptive to individuals. To measure incident disruption, an EAP-based CISM unit developed a critical incident severity scale. By analyzing this unit’s extensive practice database, this exploratory study examines how critical incident severity level varies among various types of incidents. Employing the methodology of clinical data mining, this practice-based research generates evidence-informed practice recommendations in the areas of EAP-based CISM intake assessment, organizational consultation and incident response planning.