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Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 Mar 2;16(5). pii: E756. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16050756.

The Association of the Exposure to Work-Related Traumatic Events and Work Limitations among Firefighters: A Cross-Sectional Study.

Author information

1
Department of Preventive Medicine and Institute of Health Sciences, College of Medicine, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju 52727, Korea. mijikim@gnu.ac.kr.
2
Department of Preventive Medicine and Institute of Health Sciences, College of Medicine, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju 52727, Korea. yeju2002@daum.net.
3
Department of Preventive Medicine and Institute of Health Sciences, College of Medicine, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju 52727, Korea. choeys0808@gmail.com.
4
Department of Preventive Medicine and Institute of Health Sciences, College of Medicine, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju 52727, Korea. sarim2101@naver.com.
5
College of Nursing and Gerontological Health Research Center in Institute of Health Sciences, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju 52727, Korea. yha@gnu.ac.kr.
6
College of Nursing and Gerontological Health Research Center in Institute of Health Sciences, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju 52727, Korea. mjseo@gnu.ac.kr.
7
Department of Preventive Medicine and Institute of Health Sciences, College of Medicine, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju 52727, Korea. parkks@gnu.ac.kr.

Abstract

Many firefighters suffering from traumatic events while on duty participate in the work force. However, the impact of work-related traumatic events on work performance is unclear. To address this issue, we administered a work-related traumatic event experience survey, the health-related work limitations questionnaire, the Korea Depression Scale, and the World Health Organization quality of life assessment to firefighters from four cities in Korea. The health-related work limitations questionnaire measured limitations in their ability to perform three specific work demands-physical, psychosocial, and environmental. Of 685 firefighters enrolled in the study, 618 (90.2%) were included in the final analyses. Their mean age ± standard deviation (SD) was 41.1 ± 8.0 years and mean employment period ± SD was 163.0 ± 101.2 months. A large percentage of participants reported they had experienced work-related traumatic events. Among the firefighters, the total work limitation prevalence was 21.5%, 16.8% of them were limited in their abilities to perform physical work demands, 15.5% were limited in performing psychosocial work demands, and 13.8% were limited in their abilities to function without difficulty within the ambient work environment. Based on multivariable logistic regression, with having work-related traumatic event experience of a threat or injury to self, the odds ratio (OR) of having work limitations in physical (OR = 3.32, 95% CI = 1.17⁻9.41), psychosocial (OR = 3.05, 95% CI = 1.08⁻8.61), environmental (OR = 4.89, 95% CI = 1.66⁻14.40) work demands, and total work limitation (OR = 3.73, 95% CI = 1.44⁻9.68) increased significantly. With experiences of treating fatalities or injured patients, the OR of total work limitation increased significantly (OR = 2.07, 95% CI = 1.09⁻3.91). We demonstrated a relationship between the firefighters' exposure to work-related traumatic events and their work limitations. A professional care management system for firefighters to prevent and manage work-related traumatic events should be developed in order to protect and improve their performance ability.

KEYWORDS:

firefighters; mental health; psychological trauma; work limitations; work performance

PMID:
30832333
PMCID:
PMC6427799
DOI:
10.3390/ijerph16050756
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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