General and specific individual post-traumatic stress disorder-related mechanisms among paramedics
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Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu / Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland (Instytut Psychologii, Zakład Psychologii Ogólnej / Institute of Psychology, Department of General Psychology)
Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu / Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland (Instytut Psychologii, Zakład Psychologii Zdrowia i Psychologii Klinicznej / Institute of Psychology, Department of Health Psychology and Clinical Psychology)
Online publication date: 2019-01-31
Corresponding author
Aleksandra Jasielska   

Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu, Instytut Psychologii, Zakład Psychologii Ogólnej, ul. Szamarzewskiego 89, 60-568 Poznań
Med Pr 2019;70(1):53–66
Background: Due to the nature of their work, paramedics face an increased risk of developing a post-traumatic stress disorder. The main goal of this research project was to point out specific correlates of post-traumatic stress. The authors decided to approach that issue from the perspective of emotional-cognitive deficits and resources, such as alexithymia, rumination and coping with stress. Material and Methods: The authors conducted 3 independent research projects in the first half of the year 2017 in the Wielkopolskie voivodship, that included paramedics. In each one of them, they estimated post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms using The Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R). Additionally, in the first study the authors used alexthymia scale, Polish verion of Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20 (TAS-20), in the second – rumination questionnaire, in the third – coping with stress measured with Inventory for Measuring Coping with Stress Mini-COPE. Results: The analyses demonstrate a relationship between PTSD symptoms and both alexithymia and rumination. There was not any significant relationship between coping strategies and PTSD. The mediation analysis results prove the role of intrusion as a mediator in a relationship between hyperarousal and avoidance. Individuals with PTSD demonstrate high avoidance for situations similar to the original traumatic event because high hyperarousal increases the risk of intrusion. Conclusions: More than a half of paramedics demonstrated post-traumatic stress symptoms, which most likely is a prognosis factor for future development of PTSD among them. The emotional-cognitive deficits correlated with traumatic stress symptoms. Resources such as coping strategies were not sufficient enough mechanisms for coping with traumatic stress. Post-traumatic stress disorder may be seen as a dynamic sequence. The nature of paramedics work entails the risk for experiencing complex and/or secondary trauma, which represent the phenomena that should be further examined. Med Pr. 2019;70(1):53–66