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Keywords:

  • posttraumatic stress disorder;
  • health service staff;
  • Omagh bombing;
  • work-related stress

Abstract

In this postal survey of 1064 health service staff working closest to the Omagh bombing in Northern Ireland, approximately half reported having professional or civilian involvement. Types of involvement and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) levels varied between staff groups. Staff involved both professionally and as a civilian, particularly those who witnessed the trauma, or those who had experienced previous emotional problems and trauma, had the highest levels of symptomatology. Although staff with higher PTSD symptoms were more likely to seek professional help, only a minority contacted professionals for support.