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This study will examine the relationship between stressful events, the emergency responders’ stress reaction, social support, and injury occurrence. With this information, fire personnel can accommodate injury treatment as well as psychological counseling when addressing reactions to traumatic events.
This proposed study will be funded by a
Pacific University Undergraduate Research Grant.
Firefighters (FF) and other emergency responders (ER) are professionals that require overall good health and physical conditioning. These professionals are also under a great deal of stress in their daily duties. Due to frequent traumatic experiences, ERs are at great risk of psychological disorders (Ben-Ezra, 2006), sleeping difficulties, and the general inability to function properly in normal, everyday situations (DSM-IV-TR, 2000). Utilizing the stress and athletic injury model (Andersen & Williams, 1988), this study will examine the relationship between stressful events, the emergency responders’ perceptions of stress and injury rates.
Currently employed firefighters & emergency responders from the Portland Metro area who have been employed for longer than nine months
- Injury frequency and severity
- Impact of Event Scale- Revised: Evaluates symptoms related to traumatic event (Weiss, 2004)
- Trauma History Questionnaire: Measures level of trauma associated with event (Green, 1996)
-Participants will be recruited through flyers, emails, and in-person presentations
-Informed consent & survey data will be collected online
- Correlation analysis will be used to examine relationships between variables
Emergency responders, stress, and coping: A proposal of researchSydney Vincent and Rebecca Y. Concepcion, PhDDepartment of Exercise Science | Pacific University | 2043 College Way | Forest Grove, OR 97116
Greater levels of social support and a positive coping response to a traumatic event will lead to fewer injuries as well as a lower rate of PTSD.
What is the relationship between social support, injury, and the firefighter’s and emergency responder’s reaction to a stressful event?
The physiological and psychological stresses associated with firefighting make the career very challenging (de Loës & Jansson, 2001). Along with these stressors, the firefighting industry has proportionally higher injury rates (Walton, Conrad, Furner, & Samo, 2003) than many other industries. Coping is an area of many studies focused on FF, of which, some have shown that positive coping methods most used by FFs include: positive reappraisal, active coping, and support/venting (Cicognani, Pietrantoni, Palastini, & Prati, 2009); negative coping strategies include, self-criticism, anger expression and negative marital or romantic partner relationship functioning (Monnier, Cameron, Hobfoll, & Gribble, 2000). Additionally, social support from supervisors is very important in the prevention and/or limitation of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); specifically in the areas of reliable assistance, reassurance of worth, and social integration (Varvel, et al., 2007).
Andersen, M. B., & Williams, J. M. (1988). A model of stress and athletic injury: Prediction and prevention. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 10, 294-306.
American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, D.C.: Author.
Ben-Ezra, M., Essar, N., Saar, R. (2006). Post-traumatic reactions among rescue personnel before and after exposure to trauma: A brief report. Stress and Health, 22, 337-340.
Cicognani, E.,Pietrantoni, L., Palastini, L., & Prati, G.. (2009). Emergency Workers’ Quality of Life: The Protective Role of Sense of Community, Efficacy Beliefs and Coping Strategies. Springer, 94, 449-463.
de Loës, M., Jansson, B. R. (2001). Work-related injuries from mandatory fitness training among Swedish firemen. International Journal of Sports, 22, 373-378.
Weinberg, R., & Gould, D. (2007). Foundations of Sport and Exercise Psychology (3rd ed.), (pp. 428-442). Champaign: Human Kinetics.
Green, B. (1996). Trauma History Questionnaire. In B. H. Stamm (Ed.), Measurement of stress, trauma, and adaptation (pp. 366-369). Lutherville, MD: Sidran Press.
Monnier, J., Cameron, R. P. Hobfoll, S. E., & Gribble, J. R. (2000). Direct and crossover effects of prosocial and antisocial coping behaviors. Journal of Family Psychology, 14, 570-584.
Varvel, S. J., He, Y. Shannon, J. K., Tager, D., Bledman, R. A., Chaichanasakul, A., Mendoza, M. M., Mallinckrodt, B. (2007). Multidimensional, threshold effects of social support in firefighters: Is more support invariably better? Journal of Counseling Psychology, 54, 458-465.
Walton, S. M., Conrad, K. M., Furner, S. E., Samo, D. G. (2003). Cause, type, and workers’ compensation costs of injury to fire fighters. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 43, 454-458.
Weiss, D. S. (2004). The Impact of Event Scale- Revised. In J. P. Wilson & T. M. Keane (Eds.), Assessing Psychological Trauma and PTSD (pp. 168-189). New York, NY: The Guilford Press.