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Article

Long-Term PTSD Risks in Emergency Medical Technicians Who Responded to the 2016 Taiwan Earthquake: A Six-Month Observational Follow-Up Study

1
Department of Psychiatry, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 70403, Taiwan
2
Institute of Clinical Medicine, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 70101, Taiwan
3
Department of Emergency Medicine, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 70403, Taiwan
4
Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 70403, Taiwan
5
Institute of Behavioral Medicine, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 70101, Taiwan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(24), 4983; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16244983
Received: 23 October 2019 / Revised: 30 November 2019 / Accepted: 6 December 2019 / Published: 7 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health Psychology)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: posttraumatic stress disorder; emergency medical technician; earthquake; disaster; rescuer; prognostic factor; Taiwan posttraumatic stress disorder; emergency medical technician; earthquake; disaster; rescuer; prognostic factor; Taiwan
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hsiao, Y.Y.; Chang, W.H.; Ma, I.C.; Wu, C.-L.; Chen, P.S.; Yang, Y.K.; Lin, C.-H. Long-Term PTSD Risks in Emergency Medical Technicians Who Responded to the 2016 Taiwan Earthquake: A Six-Month Observational Follow-Up Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 4983. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16244983

AMA Style

Hsiao YY, Chang WH, Ma IC, Wu C-L, Chen PS, Yang YK, Lin C-H. Long-Term PTSD Risks in Emergency Medical Technicians Who Responded to the 2016 Taiwan Earthquake: A Six-Month Observational Follow-Up Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2019; 16(24):4983. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16244983

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hsiao, Yin Y., Wei H. Chang, I C. Ma, Chen-Long Wu, Po S. Chen, Yen K. Yang, and Chih-Hao Lin. 2019. "Long-Term PTSD Risks in Emergency Medical Technicians Who Responded to the 2016 Taiwan Earthquake: A Six-Month Observational Follow-Up Study" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 16, no. 24: 4983. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16244983

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