Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia
Print version ISSN 1415-790X
LIMA, Eduardo de Paula and ASSUNCAO, Ada Ávila. Prevalence and factors associated with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in emergency workers: a systematic literature review. Rev. bras. epidemiol. [online]. 2011, vol.14, n.2, pp. 217-230. ISSN 1415-790X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1415-790X2011000200004.
OBJECTIVE: To identify the prevalence of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in emergency workers and determine the factors associated with outcomes. METHODS: Seven databases were consulted (Medline via Pubmed, PsycINFO, LILACS, SciELO, BDENF, DISASTERS, and MEDCARIB) between September 10 and 25, 2009. The search only included articles published in Portuguese, English or Spanish between 2004 and 2009. The key-words involved terms related to emergency services/workers, Posttraumatic stress disorder, working conditions, and occupational health. Quantitative observational studies on PTSD prevalence and determinant or associated factors regarding the health of firefighters, emergency ambulance personnel, Red Cross workers, and medical emergency workers were included. Studies using samples unrelated to the purposes of this review (police officers, volunteers and emergency workers' children) or that did not include PTSD symptoms as the dependent variable in at least one of the objectives of the study were excluded. RESULTS: 30 articles were selected by reading the titles and abstracts. 17 complete articles were reviewed and analyzed. Studies adopted different research designs, instruments and diagnostic criteria for statistical analysis. The prevalence of the disease ranged from absence of reported cases to a rate of 38.5%. Socio-demographic, biological and psychological characteristics, morbidity, exposure to occupational and non-occupational traumatic events, and work and job features were associated with the prevalence of PTSD in emergency workers. CONCLUSION: Individual and contextual variables are considered as factors associated with PTSD, which explains the multidimensional nature of the outcome studied.
Keywords : Mental health; Posttraumatic stress disorder; Risk factors; Emergency workers; Epidemiology; Occupational health.