Long-term PTSD risks in emergency medical technicians who responded to the 2016 taiwan earthquake: A six-month observational follow-up study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Although several factors associated with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in disaster rescue workers were identified in previous studies, the results were inconsistent. This study aimed to explore the prognostic factors of PTSD among disaster rescuers using different screening tools. A 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck southern Taiwan on February 6, 2016. Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) who responded to the earthquake were recruited. The initial survey was conducted one month after the earthquake using a standardized, self-reported, paper-based questionnaire. After six months, we re-evaluated the EMTs using the same questionnaire that was used in the baseline survey. A total of 38 EMT-paramedics were enrolled in the final analysis. Significant differences in PTSD scores at baseline existed between EMTs with and without certain risk factors. The interaction between survey time and risk factors was not significant, but several risk factors correlated with a nonsignificant improvement in the PTSD score after the 6-month follow-up. Perfectionism personality characteristics and several specific field experiences (managing injured patients, managing dead victims, managing dead victims who were pregnant, managing emotionally distraught families, or guilty feelings during the missions) might affect different subdomains of PTSD symptom improvement. Disaster rescuers should be followed up after their missions, regardless of their age, gender, or previous experience with disaster response. EMTs with certain personality characteristics or who are involved in specific field operations should be carefully monitored during and after disaster rescue missions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4983
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume16
Issue number24
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Dec 2

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Long-term PTSD risks in emergency medical technicians who responded to the 2016 taiwan earthquake: A six-month observational follow-up study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this