Effectiveness of Psychological First Aid Training for social work students, practitioners and human service professionals in Alberta, Canada

Nasreen Lalani, Julie Drolet


Psychological First Aid (PFA) is becoming a universally accepted intervention in providing psychosocial support to individuals and families affected by trauma or disaster.  Our study aimed to measure the effectiveness of a didactic and simulation based Psychological First Aid (PFA) training program in Alberta, Canada.  Social work students, practitioners, and human service professionals from Calgary, Edmonton, and Lethbridge were invited to attend the training.  A total of 90 participants attended the training at three different sites. A pre and post survey questionnaire was administered to all the participants before and after the training.  Findings showed that the training has significantly improved participants’ PFA knowledge and perceived competence in PFA skill.  PFA training enhanced their confidence, disaster preparedness, and self-care strategies needed to provide psychosocial support to individuals and families in disaster situations. Our study provides preliminary evidence supporting the effectiveness of the PFA training program among social work students, practitioners and human service professionals for future disaster preparedness in Alberta, Canada.

Keywords: Psychological first aid, social work, disaster preparedness, training, competency, effectiveness, Canada

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1921/jpts.v17i1.1269


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