Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Mental Disorder Symptoms among Paramedics in a Single Canadian Site

Version 1 : Received: 21 January 2022 / Approved: 25 January 2022 / Online: 25 January 2022 (08:28:25 CET)
Version 2 : Received: 26 January 2022 / Approved: 27 January 2022 / Online: 27 January 2022 (13:57:44 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Mausz, J.; Donnelly, E.A.; Moll, S.; Harms, S.; McConnell, M. Mental Disorder Symptoms and the Relationship with Resilience among Paramedics in a Single Canadian Site. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 4879. Mausz, J.; Donnelly, E.A.; Moll, S.; Harms, S.; McConnell, M. Mental Disorder Symptoms and the Relationship with Resilience among Paramedics in a Single Canadian Site. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 4879.

Journal reference: Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 4879
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph19084879

Abstract

There is growing recognition in research and policy of a mental health crisis among Canada’s paramedics but despite this, epidemiological surveillance of the problem is in its infancy. Just weeks before the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, we surveyed paramedics from a single, large, urban paramedic service in Ontario, Canada to assess for clinically significant symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety and to identify potential risk factors for each. In total, we received 589 completed surveys (a 97% completion rate) and found that 11% met the screening criteria for PTSD, 15% for depression, and 15% for anxiety, with 1 in 4 active-duty paramedics meeting the criteria for any of the three as recently as February 2020. In adjusted analyses, the risk of a positive screen varied as a function of employment classification, gender, self-reported resilience, and previous experience as a member of the service’s peer support team. Our findings support the position that paramedics have high rates of current mental illness – a problem likely to have worsened since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. We echo the calls of researchers and policymakers for urgent action to support paramedic mental health in Canada.

Keywords

Public Safety Personnel; First Responders; Mental Disorders; Mental Health; Well-Being; Trauma; Operational Stress Injuries; Post-Traumatic Stress Injuries; Resilience; Peer Support; Paramedics; Emergency Medical Services

Subject

BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES, Clinical Psychology

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