Virtual agent-mediated appraisal training: A single case series among Dutch firefighters

Ursula Beer, Mark Neerincx, Nexhmedin Morina, Willem-Paul Brinkman

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Background: First responders are a prime example of professionals that are at a high risk of
being exposed to traumatic experiences. Reappraisal as a coping strategy might help first
responders to better cope with their emotional responses to traumatic events.
Objective: This study investigated the effects of repeated sessions of a digital reappraisal
training among seven firefighters. The training consisted of four sessions supported by a
virtual agent, conducted at home or at work, over a two-week period in a single case series.
Method: Sixteen data points were collected from each participant in the eight days pre- and
Results: Significantly more themes were used at post-training than at pre-training, implying
more flexibility and confirming the main hypothesis of the study. Negative side effects were
not reported during or in the week after the training.
Conclusions: More controlled studies into the short- and long-term effects of a training of
this nature are needed. Furthermore, it provides a reference for developers in this field.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1378053
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychotraumatology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2017


  • Resilience training
  • reappraisal
  • virtual agent
  • interrupted time series
  • computer-based training


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