Resilience training programs with police forces: a systematic review

Ana F. Moreno*, Maria Karanika-Murray, Patrícia Batista, Rowena Hill, Susanna Rubiol Vilalta, Patrícia Oliveira-Silva

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review



Through the course of their career, it is expected that police officers are exposed to stressful and emotionally challenging environments, which, combined with well-known organizational and occupational stressors, makes this professional class vulnerable to several psychological and medical conditions. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in developing intervention programs that seek to minimize the impact of the changing nature of police work within a changing society and promote skills that enable police officers to deal more effectively with the current and future challenges. Therefore, the aim of this review is to systematize resilience training intervention programs and characterize their format, content, and efficacy. For that purpose, we searched four databases for resilience programs delivered to the police. We reached a final sample of 32 articles from a total of 550 published studies. The articles considered were divided into three main groups: mindfulness-based resilience interventions (n = 13), neurobiological-based resilience interventions (n = 13), and other resilience training interventions that did not fit in the previous categories (n = 6). There was much inter-intervention variability, mainly concerning their structure and approach. However, the intervention programs were relatively uniform in the topics covered, such as psychoeducation, police scenario simulation, and debriefing. Nonetheless, most studies found positive outcomes on the variables of interest, predominantly clinical and performance indicators (e.g., stress, anxiety, decision-making). Subsequent research endeavors could aim to determine the most reliable measure outcome measures for resilience variables and intervention efficacy, as alongside identifying pivotal occupational factors crucial to a robust and impactful resilience intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-252
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Police and Criminal Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024


  • Intervention programs
  • Mindfulness
  • Neurobiological measures
  • Policing
  • Resilience
  • Stress
  • Well-being


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