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Longitudinal study of probable post-traumatic stress disorder in firefighters exposed to the World Trade Center disaster.
Berninger A; Webber MP; Niles JK; Gustave J; Lee R; Cohen HW; Kelly K; Corrigan M; Prezant DJ
Am J Ind Med 2010 Dec; 53(12):1177-1185
BACKGROUND: Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have been reported even years after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 (9/11). METHODS: We used screening tools to assess the prevalence of probable PTSD in 9/11-exposed firefighters at two time points, within 6 months of 9/11 (baseline) and 3-4 years post-disaster (follow-up). RESULTS: Five thousand six hundred fifty-six individuals completed assessments at both times. 15.5 percent reported probable PTSD post-9/11, 8.6 percent at baseline and 11.1 percent at follow-up, on average 2.9 (SD 0.5) years later. Analyses revealed that nearly half of all probable PTSD occurred as delayed onset (absent baseline, present follow-up). Compared with the resilient group (no probable PTSD at either time), probable PTSD at baseline, and delayed onset at follow-up were each associated with concomitant functional impairment (OR 19.5 and 18.9), respectively. CONCLUSION: Similar percentages of firefighters met criteria for baseline and delayed onset probable PTSD at follow-up, years later. Both were associated with substantial functional impairment. Early risk identification could provide opportunities for mental health interventions before symptoms compromise work and social relationships.
Mental-health; Mental-disorders; Mental-stress; Stress; Emotional-stress; Emergency-response; Emergency-responders; Fire-fighters; Medical-screening; Rescue-workers; Long-term-study; Mathematical-models; Statistical-analysis; Psychological-reactions; Psychological-responses; Psychological-stress; Author Keywords: World Trade Center; mental health; occupational medicine; posttraumatic stress; firefighters
Mayris P. Webber, DrPH, MPH, New York City Fire Department, Bureau of Health Services, 9 Metrotech Center, Brooklyn, NY 11201, USA
Grant; Cooperative Agreement
Grant-Number-R01-OH-007350; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U10-OH-008243; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U10-OH-008242
Issue of Publication
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Page last reviewed: March 18, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division