Research paper published – Finding positives after disaster: Insights from nurses following the 2010—2011 Canterbury, NZ earthquake sequence


My colleague and I have written a paper that has been published in the Australasian Emergency Nursing Journal. You can read it here.

Here’s the abstract.

Background: This paper identifies positive aspects of nurse experiences during the Canterbury 2010—2011 earthquake sequence and subsequent recovery process.
Methods: Qualitative semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 11 nurses from the Christchurch area to explore the challenges faced by the nurses during and following the earth- quakes. The interviews took place three years after the start of the earthquake experience to enable exploration of the longer term recovery process. The interview transcripts were analysed and coded using a grounded theory approach.

Results: The data analysis identified that despite the many challenges faced by the nurses during and following the earthquakes they were able to identify positives from their experi- ence. A number of themes were identified that are related to posttraumatic growth, including; improvement in relationships with others, change in perspective/values, changed views of self and acknowledgement of the value of the experience.

Conclusions: The research indicates that nurses were able to identify positive aspects of their experiences of the earthquakes and recovery process, suggesting that both positive and negative impacts on wellbeing can co-exist. These insights have value for employers designing support processes following disasters as focusing on positive elements could enhance nurse wellbeing during stressful times.