Preprint Article Version 2 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed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 symptom clusters consistent with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), major depressive disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder and to identify potential risk factors for each. In total, we received 589 completed surveys (a 97% completion rate) and found that 11% screened positive for PTSD, 15% for depression, and 15% for anxiety, with 1 in 4 active-duty paramedics screening positive 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 screen positive for mental disorders at high rates – 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

Comments (1)

Comment 1
Received: 27 January 2022
Commenter: Justin Mausz
Commenter's Conflict of Interests: Author
Comment: Revisions to nomenclature describing mental illness recommended by the journal editor to be in line with language advanced by the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment (CIPSRT) glossary of terms. These changes were recommended to ensure consistent language is being used by authors submitting to the upcoming special issue on Public Safety Personnell: Mental Health and Well-Being.
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