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Occupational stressors, stress responses, and alcohol consumption among professional firefighters: a prospective, longitudinal analysis.
Murphy SA; Beaton RD; Pike KC; Johnson LC
Int J Stress Manag 1999 Aug; 6(3):179-196
This dual-site longitudinal prospective study monitored and measured change in self-reported occupational stressors, emotional trauma, symptoms of stress, and alcohol consumption in urban firefighters. Study participants were 188 firefighters employed by two urban fire departments. The results showed that of 19 occupational stressors examined, only 5 (26%) changed significantly over time, and of those 5, only two-job skill concerns and concerns regarding reduction in force and benefits-decreased, reflecting less bothersome subjective ratings. Of the 12 measures of posttraumatic and other symptoms of stress, 9 (75%) increased significantly over time and none decreased significantly, whereas alcohol consumption was stable over time. Job stressors, trauma caseness, and stress response symptoms at baseline were strongly and significantly associated with the same measures at the two-year follow-up. The implications of the findings for prevention and remediation of stress disorders in fire service personnel are considered. It can be concluded that the stressful nature of urban firefighting is significantly associated with negative health outcomes, including the potential over reliance on alcohol use.
Risk factors; Stress; Fire fighters; Fire fighting; Fire hazards; Hazardous materials; Occupational hazards; Sampling; Injuries; Occupational exposure; Paramedical services; Emergency responders; Emergency response; Traumatic injuries; Stress; Humans
Shirley Murphy, Department of Psychosocial and Community Health, Box 357263, School of Nursing, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-7263
Issue of Publication
International Journal of Stress Management
University of Washington, School of Nursing, Seattle, Washington
Page last reviewed: April 9, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division