This review aimed to assess the use of positive psychology interventions (PPIs), such as using positive mantras, expressive writing, or gratitude diaries, to improve the health behaviours, psychological wellbeing and/or physical health of police staff. The review was registered on PROSPERO before 16 electronic databases were searched for published articles between January 1999 and February 2022. Included studies offered PPIs to improve the physical health (body mass index, blood pressure), psychological well-being (stress, anxiety, mood, emotion, depression, self-efficacy), or health behaviours (physical activity, sitting times, dietary habits, alcohol, or tobacco use) of police staff. The mixed methods appraisal tool (MMAT) was used to assess the risk of bias of included papers. The initial search yielded 4560 results; with 3385 papers remaining after duplicates were removed. Of these, 15 studies were included in the final review. Intervention types included mindfulness-based resilience training (n = 11), physical or wellness practice classes (n = 1), role-play and scenario-based interventions (n = 2) and expressive writing (n = 1). Mindfulness-based interventions improved many psychological wellbeing facets such as anxiety, depression, negative affect and quality of life. Limited improvements were observed for some health behaviours such as alcohol consumption and in self-reported general health. Expressive writing and role-play-based interventions were effective in reducing stress and anxiety, however, improvement in depression scores were inconsistent across studies. Positive psychology interventions are promising to support the health and wellbeing of police staff. Future research should investigate their mechanisms of action to support future innovation in support for police wellbeing.
- Positive psychology