Submit a Manuscript to the Journal

European Journal of Psychotraumatology

For a Special Issue on

Early intervention in the aftermath of trauma: assessment and response

Manuscript deadline
01 December 2023

Cover image - European Journal of Psychotraumatology

Special Issue Editor(s)

Dr Rodrigo A. Figueroa, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile School of Medicine
[email protected]

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Early intervention in the aftermath of trauma: assessment and response

The conflict in Ukraine and the wildfires in Europe, among other calamities, remind us once again that disasters and collective trauma are rampant. Beneath these obvious and massive events, there is a daily, subtle and protracted flow of smaller-scale traumatic events spreading along our streets, homes, and workplaces, such as traffic accidents, assaults, and domestic violence. The need for effective immediate interventions to identify those at risk, deliver rapid distress relief and prevent emerging psychopathology is urgent.

What is the state-of-the-art in the field of early intervention? During the seventies and eighties, the humanitarian and emergency response community widely adopted Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD). Still, later it was criticised due to its possible iatrogenic effect. In the last decades, the concepts of resilience and post-traumatic growth focused on more positive outcomes in the aftermath of trauma. However, a significant minority of survivors will develop enduring psychopathology. Psychosocial innovations such as Psychological First Aid and some EMDR protocols were developed, whereas exploring the preventive use of old drugs like hydrocortisone and propranolol has appeared promising. In this special issue, we are looking for recent developments in assessment and early responses to acute trauma.

The European Journal of Psychotraumatology and its guest editor invite original research papers (qualitative and quantitative), review articles, and commentaries addressing any relevant topic related to crisis intervention in the aftermath of trauma, in particular articles contributing to address the following questions:

Predictive tools and triage:

  • How to better identify those at higher risk of developing post-traumatic psychopathology in the aftermath of trauma?
  • Are there predictable, differential trajectories or patterns to account for?
  • What is the place for machine learning and AI tools in triaging trauma survivors?
  • What implications should be considered during assessing and triaging political trauma and war survivors?

Immediate risk management and distress relief:

  • What immediate behavioural problems should we address when dealing with trauma survivors?
  • What ‘emotional analgesics’, psychosocial or pharmacological, could we use with trauma victims? How effective are they? Are there risks with their use?

Prevention of psychopathology in the mid and long-term:

  • What emerging psychosocial or pharmacological tools do we have to prevent emerging psychopathology due to traumatic events?
  • Is there a role for hydrocortisone, propranolol, oxytocin, or even benzodiazepines in preventing PTSD or other post-traumatic disorders?
  • Is there a role for psychedelics, a promising group of drugs in psychiatry, in preventing post-traumatic stress disorders?

Ethical considerations in crisis intervention:

  • Which ethical limits should we account for when intervening in traumatic memory acquisition, encoding, retrieval, and reconsolidation?
  • What ethical dilemmas occur during crisis interventions, and which recommendations should be kept in mind?

Submission Instructions

All enquiries about this call for papers should be directed to Dr Rodrigo A. Figueroa (Guest Editor) or Prof. Miranda Olff (Chief Editor).

Your submission will be dealt with immediately and, if accepted, published as soon as possible. The first round of reviews is expected one month after submission. When the call is closed, all published papers for this special issue will be pulled together in an editorial on the topic.

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article