Duty-related trauma exposure in 911 telecommunicators: considering the risk for posttraumatic stress.
ABSTRACT Peritraumatic distress may increase the risk for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in police officers. Much less is known about emotional reactions and PTSD symptomatology in 911 telecommunicators. The current study assessed duty-related exposure to potentially traumatic calls, peritraumatic distress, and PTSD symptomatology in a cross-sectional, convenience sample of 171 telecommunicators. Results showed that telecommunicators reported high levels of peritraumatic distress and a moderate, positive relationship was found between peritraumatic distress and PTSD symptom severity (r = .34). The results suggest that 911 telecommunicators are exposed to duty-related trauma that may lead to the development of PTSD, and that direct, physical exposure to trauma may not be necessary to increase risk for PTSD in this population.
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ABSTRACT: Little is known about the general population prevalence or severity of DSM-IV mental disorders. To estimate 12-month prevalence, severity, and comorbidity of DSM-IV anxiety, mood, impulse control, and substance disorders in the recently completed US National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Nationally representative face-to-face household survey conducted between February 2001 and April 2003 using a fully structured diagnostic interview, the World Health Organization World Mental Health Survey Initiative version of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Nine thousand two hundred eighty-two English-speaking respondents 18 years and older. Twelve-month DSM-IV disorders. Twelve-month prevalence estimates were anxiety, 18.1%; mood, 9.5%; impulse control, 8.9%; substance, 3.8%; and any disorder, 26.2%. Of 12-month cases, 22.3% were classified as serious; 37.3%, moderate; and 40.4%, mild. Fifty-five percent carried only a single diagnosis; 22%, 2 diagnoses; and 23%, 3 or more diagnoses. Latent class analysis detected 7 multivariate disorder classes, including 3 highly comorbid classes representing 7% of the population. Although mental disorders are widespread, serious cases are concentrated among a relatively small proportion of cases with high comorbidity.Archives of General Psychiatry 07/2005; 62(6):617-27. · 13.77 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This study assesses the multidimensional structure of traumatic events as perceived by police officers and investigates individual differences in the scaling of such perceptions. Forty-two police officers with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and 40 officers without PTSD were given descriptions of critical incidents they were likely to encounter at work. They sorted these on the basis of similarity and rated them on 15 descriptive scales. The two groups were comparable in terms of relevant background characteristics. PTSD was diagnosed with the Structured Interview (SI-PTSD). The similarity data were subjected to individual differences multidimensional scaling analysis [Carroll and Chang, Psychometrika 35 (1970) 283]. The objective was, first, to identify the basic cognitive dimensions of psychological trauma that police officers use in discriminating between common critical incidents and, second, to test whether officers with and without PTSD apply such dimensions differently when interpreting critical incidents. The same three-dimensional solution was obtained for both groups: (1) emotional reactivity; (2) vulnerability and physical integrity; and (3) moral responsibility. Significant differences were found between the PTSD and non-PTSD groups in the salience of Dimension 2. Results are discussed with reference to other studies that address the meaning and interpretation of traumatic events. Implications for the conceptualization and assessment of trauma and PTSD are outlined.Psychiatry Research 01/2001; 97(1):29-39. · 2.46 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Meeting criterion A2 for the diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in DSM-IV requires that an individual have high levels of distress during or after the traumatic event. Because of the paucity of valid and reliable instruments for assessing such responses, the authors developed a 13-item self-report measure, the Peritraumatic Distress Inventory, to obtain a quantitative measure of the level of distress experienced during and immediately after a traumatic event. The cross-sectional study group comprised 702 police officers and 301 matched nonpolice comparison subjects varying in ethnicity and gender who were exposed to a wide range of critical incidents. The Peritraumatic Distress Inventory was found to be internally consistent, with good test-retest reliability and good convergent and divergent validity. Even after controlling for peritraumatic dissociation and for general psychopathology, the authors found that Peritraumatic Distress Inventory scores correlated with two measures of posttraumatic stress symptoms. The Peritraumatic Distress Inventory holds promise as a measure of PTSD criterion A2. Future studies should prospectively examine the ability of the Peritraumatic Distress Inventory to predict PTSD and its associated biological and cognitive correlates in other trauma-exposed groups.American Journal of Psychiatry 10/2001; 158(9):1480-5. · 14.72 Impact Factor