Thursday, July 18, 2013

Quebec Police Officer PTSD study shows intervention works

If the military could figure out how to do this, we'd see a lot less suicides and a lot more healing!
Post-Traumatic Stress Risk to Police Lower Than Previously Thought
EHS Today
Sandy Smith
Jul. 18, 2013

Although police officers are at a high risk of experiencing traumatic events in their work, they are no more likely than the general population to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

New research from the Institut de Recherche Robert-Sauvé en Aanté et en Sécurité du Travail (IRSST) on the risk and protective factors of post-traumatic stress reactions in Quebec police officers found that despite the nature of their work, they experience no higher levels of post-traumatic stress disorder than the general population.

The study, “Predictors of Posttraumatic Stress Disorders in Police Officers – Prospective Study,” also confirms that symptoms associated with the development of PTSD in police officers can be attenuated or prevented with specific and adapted intervention. These symptoms include dissociative reactions, emotional and physical reactions, a state of acute stress, depressive symptoms and emotional coping responses to stress.

“Providing police officers with interventional support shortly after and in the weeks following a traumatic event improves the chances of preventing PTSD,” explained André Marchand, lead author of the study, a researcher at the Fernand-Seguin Research Centre of Louis-H. Lafontaine Hospital and associate professor at Université de Montréal. “The strategies for adapting to trauma, such as developing a stress-resistant personality and obtaining social support, can be improved through prevention components of police officer training programs.”
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