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Posttraumatic stress disorder in emergency room professionals : contribution of cognitive factors Laposa, Judith Megan


Little empirical work has been conducted on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in emergency room workers. This study examined appraisal and peritraumatic dissociation, factors highlighted in cognitive models of PTSD. Fifty-one emergency room personnel completed questionnaires measuring posttraumatic stress symptoms, peritraumatic dissociation, interpretations of traumatic events experienced while working in the emergency room, and subsequent intrusive recollections. Twelve percent of participants met formal diagnostic criteria for PTSD, and 20% met PTSD symptom criteria. As predicted, both negative appraisal of the trauma and in response to intrusions were associated with increased PTSD severity. Peritraumatic dissociation did not correlate with PTSD severity, although it did predict the reexperiencing symptom cluster. Discussion focuses on the factors that predict PTSD in emergency room professionals and implications for intervention.

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