Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Pavkov, Thomas

Second Advisor

Papadimitriou, Christina

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

School of Interdisciplinary Health Professions


The purpose of this study was to understand the public health responder experience, especially related to managing deployment-related trauma in public health responders who were deployed to the Ebola Outbreak Response in West Africa (2014–2016). This study used a semi structured interview design grounded in the literature of peer support, trauma, and resilience with analysis and coding of the interview data led by emerging themes. In this study, public health responders perceived aspects of their shared organization and peer relationships as helpful when encountering difficult situations during deployment. The unique bond shared among responders may reduce responder stress and promote resilience, which could include emotional healing, restored job satisfaction, and reduced professional burnout. Therefore, understanding the experiences and context in which responders operate is vital to strengthening global health security in our shared global fight against pandemics.


289 pages




Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type