Frequency of and subjective response to critical incidents in the prediction of PTSD in emergency personnel

Authors


  • The authors would like to thank the Centre for Mental Health and Crisis Psychology at the Military Hospital-Queen Astrid for their help in collecting the data. This research was made possible thanks to the kind permission of the Medical Component of Belgian Defence.

Abstract

In this study, the authors compared the respective contribution of an individual's subjective response and the frequency of exposure to critical incidents to the development of symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in a sample of 136 nurses and ambulance personnel working in military facilities. They found no relationship between the frequency of encountered critical incidents and the occurrence of PTSD symptoms. The subjective response to a stressor contributed to the development of PTSD symptoms and was most strongly associated with intrusion, partial eta squared =.23, and hyperarousal symptoms, partial eta squared =.16. Stressors that elicited the most intense affects within this population were those involving children and those where workers encountered limitations in supplies and resources.

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