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Type: Journal article
Title: Experiences of fly-in, fly-out and drive-in, drive-out rural and remote psychologists
Author: Sutherland, C.
Chur-Hansen, A.
Winefield, H.
Citation: Australian Psychologist, 2017; 52(3):219-229
Publisher: Wiley
Issue Date: 2017
ISSN: 0005-0067
Statement of
Carly Rose Sutherland, Anna Chur-Hansen, and Helen Winefield
Abstract: Objective: Fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) and drive-in, drive out (DIDO) work practices have been central to the resource sector in Australia for many years. While research considering the impacts of this lifestyle on mining workers is emerging, comparatively little is known about the experiences of FIFO/DIDO health professionals. The lack of information on FIFO/DIDO psychologists may be detrimental to both the communities serviced by them and the profession in terms of developing appropriate workforce planning and training for psychological service delivery in rural and remote areas. This qualitative study therefore aimed to explore the experiences of FIFO/DIDO psychologists. Method: Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with 10 psychologists living in metropolitan South Australia and working in rural and remote areas. Interviews were conducted by telephone, face-to-face, or in a group. Data were analysed using thematic analysis. Results: While participants reported experiencing similar challenges as resident rural psychologists, including diverse and complex cases and a lack of referral options, they also reported unique challenges, advantages, and support needs as FIFO/DIDO psychologists. These were encompassed by the themes of “Living away from home” and “Working away from home,” which included two sub-themes: “Limited time” (referring to the limited time spent in the rural setting) and “Professional isolation” (factors associated with working away from professional supports). Conclusions: This study may assist in recruitment and retention of FIFO/DIDO psychologists by providing insight into what is required in the role and may inform training and models of rural and remote psychological service delivery.
Keywords: FIFO ; outreach; psychology training; psychology workforce; remote; rural
Description: Article first published online: 24 MAR 2016
Rights: © 2016 The Australian Psychological Society
RMID: 0030046606
DOI: 10.1111/ap.12194
Appears in Collections:Psychology publications

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