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    A systematic review of resilient performance in defence and security settings

    Jones, Marc Vincent, Smith, Nathan, Burns, Danielle, Braithwaite, Elizabeth ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4902-2262, Turner, Martin ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1975-5561, McCann, Andy, Walker, Lucy ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1934-9312, Emmerson, Paul, Webster, Leonie and Jones, Martin ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2999-3942 (2022) A systematic review of resilient performance in defence and security settings. PLoS One, 17 (10). e0273015. ISSN 1932-6203

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    Abstract

    A narrative systematic literature review was conducted to explore resilient performance in defence and security settings. A search strategy was employed across a total of five databases, searching published articles from 2001 onwards that assessed performance and optimal function in relation to resilience, in defence and security personnel. Following narrative synthesis, studies were assessed for quality. Thirty-two articles met inclusion criteria across a range of performance domains, including, but not limited to, course selection, marksmanship, land navigation, and simulated captivity. Some of the key findings included measures of mental toughness, confidence, and a stress-is-enhancing mindset being positively associated with performance outcomes. There was mixed evidence for the predictive value of biomarkers, although there was some support for cortisol, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S) and neuropeptide-y (NPY), and vagal reactivity. Interventions to improve resilient performance were focused on mindfulness or general psychological skills, with effects generally clearer on cognitive tasks rather than direct performance outcomes in the field. In sum, no single measure, nor intervention was consistently associated with performance over a range of domains. To inform future work, findings from the present review have been used to develop a framework of resilient performance, with the aim to promote theoretically informed work.

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