Exploration of potential indicators of burnout, psychological distress and post-traumatic stress disorder, among Australian female first responders

Helen Frazer, Craig Hansen, Amelia Searle, Ellie Lawrence-Wood, Miranda Van Hooff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

There is limited research on the psychological wellbeing of female first responders (FRs) and therefore we explore potential indicators of burnout, psychological distress and post-traumatic stress disorder among Australian female FRs. We conducted an online health survey among Australian female FRs (fire, police, paramedical, aeromedical, remote area and other e.g., State Emergency Service). Of the 422 eligible participants who submitted the online survey, 286 completed at least 80% of all survey questions and were used in the final analyses. The main outcomes of interest were moderate burnout (compared to low burnout) and high scores for combined PCL-5/K10 (compared to low scores). Using logistical regression stepwise regression models, we analysed associations between the outcomes of interest and various work-psychosocial factors. Results showed the strongest indicators of moderate burnout to be, 1) returning to work with <12-hour break, 2) exposure to gossip and slander, 3) not enough time to do things, 4) and having experienced rape/sexual assault. The strongest indicators of higher PCL-5/K10 scores were, 1) exposure to unpleasant teasing, 2) pressure at work and home, 3) having experienced physical violence (e.g., beaten/mugged), and 4) someone close to them died unexpectedly. These findings show workforce stressors have more impact on female FRs psychological wellbeing, compared to lifetime traumatic exposures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114771
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume316
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

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