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Health personell involved in adverse events

We have performed a systematic literature search to identify research that has investigated the experiences and needs of health personnel who have been involved in adverse events.

We have performed a systematic literature search to identify research that has investigated the experiences and needs of health personnel who have been involved in adverse events.


Key message

Health personell involved in adverse events may suffer serious emotional problems and therefore need support and follow-up to be able to cope with the incident. We have performed a systematic literature search to identify research that has investigated the experiences and needs of health personnel who have been involved in adverse events, as well as the effects of interventions that are meant to help health personnel in these situations. The purpose of the search is to give an overview of the available research.

- We included two systematic reviews published in 2008 and 2010. The reviews found that common reactions with health personell involved in adverse events were shame, guilt, anxiety, shock, humiliation and depression. Discussions with colleagues, an organisational learning culture and open communication with the patient were considered important coping factors. There is limited evidence of the effects of interventions aimed at supporting health personell in these situations.

- We included 20 primary studies published as of 2009. The findings in these studies were not summarized.

- We included 12 systematic reviews on the effects of debriefing of health personell. The findings in these studies were not summarized.

The literature search was limited to published international research and the transfer value from foreign studies may be limited. To determine what kind of interventions may be useful to support health personnel in Norway, it is important to investigate experiences from Norwegian or Nordic health care.

About this publication

  • Year: 2012
  • By: Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services
  • Authors Kirkehei I, Lindahl AK, Tinnå M.
  • ISBN (digital): 978-82-8121-472-9