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Stress Inoculation Training (SIT-NORCAL), Part 2: A Pilot Study Among Explosive Ordnance Disposal Special Warfare Enablers

Winter 2021

Jackson SE, Baity MR, Thomas PR, Walker M, Goodkind M, Swick D, Barba D, Jacobson D, Byrd E, Ivey AS. 21(4). 46 - 53. (Journal Article)


Background: Despite being a well-supported strategy, Stress Inoculation Training (SIT) has not been fully incorporated in the advancement of human performance among most military personnel. The RAND Study recommendations for maximizing SIT's potential within high-risk/ high-intensity occupational groups were used in designing the Core Training protocol targeting psychological performance, SIT-NORCAL (Part 1). Purpose: The current project (Part 2) sought to further develop the protocol as a health and human performance hybrid through quality improvement analysis of the content, process, and measurement elements for use in the human performance context. Methods: Evidence-based/evidence-driven methodologies were used in collaborative design tailored to the unique needs of special warfare enablers specializing in Explosive Ordnance Disposal (n = 17). The resultant three-phase training was conducted with a novice group (n = 10) using standardized measurements of collaboration, human performance, and adaptive capabilities on identified training targets. Results: Process elements demonstrated high feasibility, resulting in high collaboration and trainee satisfaction. Significant improvements in psychological performance targets were observed pre- to post-training, and during an Adaptive Environmental Simulation designed by unit members. Two weeks post-training, unit members (n = 5) responded to an actual crash of an F-16 aircraft; measurements indicated maintenance of skill set from training to real-world events. Conclusion: Deployment of the elements in the SIT-NORCAL protocol demonstrated early feasibility and positive training impact on occupationally relevant skills that carried over into real-world events.

PMID: 34969126

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