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Post-traumatic stress disorder and occupational characteristics of police officers in Republic of Korea: a cross-sectional study

 June-Hee Lee  ;  Inah Kim  ;  Jong-Uk Won  ;  Jaehoon Roh 
 BMJ OPEN, Vol.6(3) : 009937, 2016 
Journal Title
Issue Date
Adult ; Cross-Sectional Studies ; Female ; Humans ; Logistic Models ; Male ; Middle Aged ; Occupational Diseases/epidemiology* ; Police/psychology* ; Psychiatric Status Rating Scales ; Republic of Korea ; Risk ; Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/epidemiology* ; Surveys and Questionnaires ; Young Adult
OBJECTIVE: South Korean police officers have a greater workload compared to their counterparts in advanced countries. However, few studies have evaluated the occupational challenges that South Korean police officers face. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the police officer's job characteristics and risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among South Korean police officers. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. SETTING: Police officers in South Korea. PARTICIPANTS: 3817 police officers with a traumatic event over a 1-year period. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Officers with a response to the Impact of Event Scale (revised Korean version) score of ≥ 26 were classified as high risk, and we evaluated their age, sex, department and rank, as well as the frequency and type of traumatic events that they experienced. RESULTS: Among the respondents, 41.11% were classified as having a high risk of PTSD. From the perspective of the rank, Inspector group (46.0%) and Assistant Inspector group (42.7%) show the highest frequencies of PTSD. From the perspective of their working division, Intelligence and National Security Division (43.6%) show the highest frequency, followed by the Police Precinct (43.5%) and the Traffic Affairs Management Department (43.3%). It is shown that working in different departments was associated with the prevalence of PTSD (p=0.004). CONCLUSIONS: The high-risk classification was observed in 41.11% of all officers who had experienced traumatic events, and this frequency is greater than that for other specialised occupations (eg, firefighters). Therefore, we conclude that groups with an elevated proportion of high-risk respondents should be a priority for PTSD treatment, which may help increase its therapeutic effect and improve the awareness of PTSD among South Korean police officers.
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4. Graduate School of Public Health (보건대학원) > Graduate School of Public Health (보건대학원) > 1. Journal Papers
1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Preventive Medicine and Public Health (예방의학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Kim, In Ah(김인아)
Roh, Jae Hoon(노재훈)
Won, Jong Uk(원종욱) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9200-3297
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