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The gravity of the situation: Psychosocial intervention for manned spaceflight

  • Jun 19, 2019
The gravity of the situation: Psychosocial intervention for manned spaceflight

There are a lot of physiological stressors to deal with for even when the most physically fit who are required to spend a lot of time in spaceflight. However, in addition to these physiological stressors, or as a result of these stressors, there is a great deal of psychological stress. This can affect the ability of the astronauts to function as a team. Dealing with this psychosocial stress then is the focus of the work presented by Ivey researcher, Lucas Monzani, and his colleagues. They lay out the Spaceflight-Induced Stress Management Plan (SIS-MAP) which includes three phases as an intervention for psychosocial stress associated with low earth orbit spaceflights. The first phase identifies baseline measures such as emotional competencies and coping skills in order to find specific areas that may need to be focused on in training. Phase two is training on emotional competence, coping with stress, and training on social identity so that individuals undergoing spaceflight understand their role in the overall mission. The third phase is about feedback and evaluation. For this phase there is both self-reported and other-reported responses to the training which would include evidence of improvement from Phase One. Taken as a whole, the SIS-MAP is proposed as a way to proactively support all members of the crew who must withstand the psychosocial pressures that come with long-term spaceflights.

Monzani, L., Kozusznik, M. W., Ripoll, P., Van Dick, R. Peiró, J. M. (2019). Coping in the final frontier: An intervention to reduce spaceflight-induced stress. Psychologica.