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A systematic scoping review on the evidence behind debriefing practices for the wellbeing/emotional outcomes of healthcare workers.

Evans, Thomas Rhys; Burns, Calvin; Essex, Ryan; Finnerty, Gina; Hatton, Ella; Clements, Andrew James; Breau, Genevieve; Quinn, Francis; Elliott, Helen; Smith, Lorraine D.; Matthews, Barry; Jennings, Kath; Crossman, Jodie; Williams, Gareth; Miller, Denise; Harold, Benjamin; Gurnett, Philip; Jagodzinski, Lee; Smith, Julie; Milligan, Wendy; Markowski, Marianne; Collins, Peter; Yoshimatsu, Yuki; Margalef Turull, Jordi; Colpus, Mark; Dayson, Mark L.; Weldon, Sharon


Thomas Rhys Evans

Calvin Burns

Ryan Essex

Gina Finnerty

Ella Hatton

Andrew James Clements

Genevieve Breau

Helen Elliott

Lorraine D. Smith

Barry Matthews

Kath Jennings

Jodie Crossman

Gareth Williams

Denise Miller

Benjamin Harold

Philip Gurnett

Lee Jagodzinski

Julie Smith

Wendy Milligan

Marianne Markowski

Peter Collins

Yuki Yoshimatsu

Jordi Margalef Turull

Mark Colpus

Mark L. Dayson

Sharon Weldon


Debriefings give healthcare workers voice through the opportunity to discuss unanticipated or difficult events, and to recommend changes. The typical goal of routine debriefings has been to improve clinical outcomes by learning through discussion and reflection of events, and then transferring that learning into clinical practice. However, little research has investigated the effects of debriefings on the emotional experiences and well-being of healthcare workers. There is some evidence that debriefings are a multi-faceted and cost-effective intervention for minimising negative health outcomes, but their use is inconsistent and they are infrequently adopted with the specific intention of giving healthcare workers a voice. The purpose of this systematic scoping review is therefore to assess the scope of existing evidence on debriefing practices for the well-being and emotional outcomes of healthcare workers. Following screening, 184 papers were synthesised through keyword mapping and exploratory trend identification. The body of evidence reviewed was clustered geographically, but diverse on many other criteria of interest - including the types of evidence produced, debriefing models and practices used, and outcomes captured. The current review provides a clear map of our existing understanding and highlights the need for more systematic, collaborative and rigorous bodies of evidence to determine the potential of debriefing to support the emotional outcomes of those working within healthcare.


EVANS, T.R., BURNS, C., ESSEX, R. et al. 2023. A systematic scoping review on the evidence behind debriefing practices for the wellbeing/emotional outcomes of healthcare workers. Frontiers in psychiatry [online], 14, article number 1078797. Available from:

Journal Article Type Review
Acceptance Date Feb 13, 2023
Online Publication Date Mar 24, 2023
Publication Date Dec 31, 2023
Deposit Date Apr 13, 2023
Publicly Available Date Apr 13, 2023
Journal Frontiers in psychiatry
Electronic ISSN 1664-0640
Publisher Frontiers Media
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 14
Article Number 1078797
Keywords Healthcare; Mental health; Wellbeing; Debriefing; Emotion; Systematic review; Voice
Public URL


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