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J Occup Environ Med. 2012 Jul;54(7):859-67. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31824e676b.

The experiences of security industry contractors working in Iraq: an interpretative phenomenological analysis.

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1
Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London, Surrey, United Kingdom.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To explore the occupational experiences of private security contractors working in a war zone and how it impacts on their mental health.

METHODS:

Semistructured interviews were conducted with seven contractors employed by a large UK-based private security company. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was used to analyze the interview transcripts. Participants also completed the 12-item General Health Questionnaire and the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist.

RESULTS:

Four overarching themes emerged: the appeal of the job; vulnerability; keep going; and seeking help for stress in the workplace. No clinically significant levels of distress were reported.

CONCLUSIONS:

Contractors are frequently exposed to stressors known to increase risk of psychiatric difficulty in military personnel. A number of potential protective factors were identified. Only a minority of participants were open to seeking help for mental health difficulties.

PMID:
22796932
DOI:
10.1097/JOM.0b013e31824e676b
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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