Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Police and firefighters at higher risk for mental disorders following traumatic events

Date:
February 26, 2013
Source:
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
Summary:
New research suggests that exposure to diverse types of traumatic events among protective services workers is a risk factor for new onset of psychopathology and alcohol use disorders.

Police, firefighters and other protective services workers who are repeatedly exposed to traumatic events and are new to their profession are at greater risk of developing a psychiatric disorder, according to a new study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The researchers also found that protective services workers do not appear to have a higher prevalence of mental health problems than workers in other occupations.

Related Articles


The study results are featured in the February 2013 issue of Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness.

"Our findings suggest that exposure to diverse types of traumatic events among protective services workers is a risk factor for new onset of psychopathology and alcohol use disorders," said Christopher N. Kaufmann, MHS, lead author of the study and a doctoral student in the Bloomberg School's Department of Mental Health. "When we examined the relationship of exposure to common traumas with the development of mood, anxiety and alcohol use disorders among protective services workers, we found that these workers were at greater risk for developing a mood or alcohol use disorder. Interestingly, this relationship was not seen in those who had been in these jobs for a longer period, but was strong and statistically significant in workers who recently joined the profession. Developing curricula in coping skills and providing timely interventions for early career protective services workers may help reduce future psychiatric morbidity in these workers."

Using data from the U.S National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions researchers compared the prevalence of mental disorders of protective services workers to that of adults in other occupations. In addition, they examined the association of exposure to common traumatic experiences with the development of new mood, anxiety and alcohol use disorders among protective services workers who recently joined the workforce and those who had been in these jobs for a longer period. Lifetime and recent trauma events most commonly reported by protective services workers included: seeing someone badly injured or killed; unexpectedly seeing a dead body; having someone close die unexpectedly and having someone close experience a serious or life-threatening illness, accident or injury.

"The association between the number of different traumatic event types and incident mood and alcohol-use disorders, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder, was virtually confined to the group of early career protective services workers," said Ramin Mojtabai, MD, PhD, MPH, senior author of the study and an associate professor with the Bloomberg School's Department of Mental Health. "Future research should examine the coping skills of protective services workers who have been in these jobs for many years, which might make them less likely to develop psychiatric complications in the face of various potentially traumatic experiences."

The authors note, "Special support programs and services for these early career workers can potentially help to prevent development of chronic psychopathology and attrition from these critical jobs."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. C. N. Kaufmann, L. Rutkow, A. P. Spira, R. Mojtabai. Mental Health of Protective Services Workers: Results From the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, 2012; DOI: 10.1001/dmp.2012.55

Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. "Police and firefighters at higher risk for mental disorders following traumatic events." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130226141256.htm>.
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. (2013, February 26). Police and firefighters at higher risk for mental disorders following traumatic events. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130226141256.htm
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. "Police and firefighters at higher risk for mental disorders following traumatic events." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130226141256.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 19, 2014) The hacking attack on Sony Pictures has U.S. government officials weighing their response to the cyber-attack. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
S. Leone Limits Chistmas Activities to Stem Ebola Spread

S. Leone Limits Chistmas Activities to Stem Ebola Spread

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) Sierra Leone has launched sweeping efforts to stem the spread of Ebola in the west of the country. While church services will be allowed to go ahead over the festive period, public gatherings and entertainment have been banned. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: Better Ways to Create Jobs Than Keystone Pipeline

Obama: Better Ways to Create Jobs Than Keystone Pipeline

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) US President Barack Obama says that construction of the Keystone pipeline would have 'very little impact' on US gas prices and believes there are 'more direct ways' to create construction jobs. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins