How do paramedics cope? A scoping review

Matthew Warren-James, Natalie Dodd, Chantal Perera, Lisa Clegg, H Stallman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Exposure to repeated trauma is an inherent component of paramedicine. Additionally, paramedics are exposed to threats that can undermine healthy workplaces, social connectedness, and health behaviour, predisposing them to overwhelming distress and unhealthy coping, including suicidality and psychiatric disorders. This scoping review aimed to identify how paramedics cope. PubMed, PsycINFO and CINAHL were searched between January 1, 2010, to April 21, 2021. Studies were included if they used any research design to identify specific coping strategies used by paramedics. Three studies met the inclusion criteria—two qualitative and one cross-sectional survey design. There was a high risk of bias across all studies. Studies were conducted in Israel, Poland, and the UK, primarily with males. Two studies only identified healthy coping strategies—self-soothing and social and professional support. Unhealthy strategies identified in the third study were limited to negative self-talk and alcohol use, with no mention of other harmful behaviours, social withdrawal, or suicidality. There is limited research describing how paramedics cope, and in particular, how female paramedics cope. Further research exploring the breadth of coping strategies used by paramedics is needed to understand the impact of the work paramedics undertake on coping and inform prevention and support activities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-196
Number of pages6
JournalAustralasian Emergency Care
Issue number3
Early online date06 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2022


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