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Coping strategies and social support are associated with post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms in Saudi paramedics

Khalid Alshahrani (Department of Psychology, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia) (School of Psychology, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK)
Judith Johnson (School of Psychology, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK) (Bradford Institute for Health Research, Bradford Royal Infirmary, Bradford, UK) (School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia)
Daryl B. O’Connor (School of Psychology, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK)

International Journal of Emergency Services

ISSN: 2047-0894

Article publication date: 19 April 2022

Issue publication date: 9 August 2022

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Abstract

Purpose

Three main objectives of this study were as follows: (1) To estimate the prevalence rate of post-traumatic stress disordered (PTSD) symptoms among Saudi paramedics, (2) To investigate which types of coping strategies were associated with PTSD symptoms among Saudi paramedics, (3) To explore which sources of social support were associated with PTSD symptoms among Saudi paramedics.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from 217 paramedics working in the Saudi Red Crescent Authority from September to December 2019. Participants completed questionnaires measuring PTSD symptoms (the Screen of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders; SPTSD), passive and active coping strategies (Brief COPE Scale; BC), and three forms of social support: support from friends, family and organizational support. Associations between coping strategies, social support and PTSD symptoms were investigated using correlational analyses, hierarchical linear regression and binary logistic regression.

Findings

46% of participants experienced one or more PTSD symptom, 28.6% scored above the cut-off for partial PTSD and 17.5% scored above the cut-off for full PTSD. PTSD symptoms were significantly positively correlated with passive coping and negatively associated with both family and friends support. Passive coping was positively associated with a greater risk of meeting criteria for PTSD.

Originality/value

The current findings suggest that interventions to help reduce PTSD in Saudi paramedics should include strategies to reduce passive coping. Future research is urgently required to help understand the psychological, social and work-related factors that contribute to these high levels of PTSD.

Keywords

Citation

Alshahrani, K., Johnson, J. and O’Connor, D.B. (2022), "Coping strategies and social support are associated with post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms in Saudi paramedics", International Journal of Emergency Services, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 361-373. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJES-08-2021-0056

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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