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Firefighters, posttraumatic stress disorder, and barriers to treatment: Results from a nationwide total population survey
- Firefighters, posttraumatic stress disorder, and barriers to treatment: Results from a nationwide total population survey
- Kim, Jieun E.; Dager, Stephen R.; Jeong, Hyeonseok S.; Ma, Jiyoung; Park, Shinwon; Kim, Jungyoon; Choi, Yera; Lee, Suji L.; Kang, Ilhyang; Ha, Eunji; Cho, Han Byul; Lee, Sunho; Kim, Eui-Jung; Yoon, Sujung; Lyoo, In Kyoon
- Ewha Authors
- 김의정; 류인균; 윤수정
- SCOPUS Author ID
- 김의정; 류인균; 윤수정
- Issue Date
- Journal Title
- PLOS ONE
- vol. 13, no. 1
- PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE
- SCIE; SCOPUS
- Repeated exposure to traumatic experiences may put professional firefighters at increased risk of developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). To date, however, the rate of PTSD symptoms, unmet need for mental health treatment, and barriers to treatment have only been investigated in subsamples rather than the total population of firefighters. We conducted a nationwide, total population-based survey of all currently employed South Korean firefighters (n = 39,562). The overall response rate was 93.8% (n = 37,093), with 68.0% (n = 26,887) complete responses for all variables. The rate of current probable PTSD was estimated as 5.4%. Among those with current probable PTSD (n = 1,995), only a small proportion (9.7%) had received mental health treatment during the past month. For those who had not received treatment, perceived barriers of accessibility to treatment (29.3%) and concerns about potential stigma (33.8%) were reasons for not receiving treatment. Although those with higher PTSD symptom severity and functional impairment were more likely to seek treatment, greater symptom severity and functional impairment were most strongly associated with increased concerns about potential stigma. This nationwide study points to the need for new approaches to promote access to mental health treatment in professional firefighters.
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