Wednesday, February 18, 2009

PTSD among the medics

Working as a medical professional in a war zone is, without doubt, very stressful. Past research has found moderate-high levels of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in those directly exposed to trauma and low-to-moderate levels in those indirectly exposed. Researchers from the University of Haifa in Israel looked at the levels of psychological distress and levels of functioning of 412 medical and non-medical personnel working in a hospital that was under missile attack in the Second Lebanon War in Summer 2006. The average number of PTSD symptoms was 8.6. 10.2% of the participants met the criteria for a diagnosis of PTSD, however, only 13 of these 43 people reported an impaired level of function. There were no significant differences between people who had direct exposure to injured or traumatised casualties of the war and those who had not, in terms of symptom severity and frequency of probable PTSD.

Koren, Danny ... [et al] - Acute stress reactions among medical and non-medical personnel in a general hospital under missile attacks Depression and Anxiety February 2009, 26(2), 123-128

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