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Article
Publication date: 2 December 2019

Shannon Wagner and Romana Pasca

The purpose of this paper is to examine the contribution of work to self-reported mental health symptoms in fire service members.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the contribution of work to self-reported mental health symptoms in fire service members.

Design/methodology/approach

In 2004, the first wave of this data collection was completed with all members of a fire department in a small northern center in British Columbia. The members completed a series of questionnaires measuring mental health, personality and satisfaction. Since 2004, all recruit members entering the department have also completed the same set of questionnaires shortly after hiring. Subsequently, in 2016–2017, the full sample, including recruit members, were invited to complete the Wave 2 data collection cycle, which included a set of questionnaires very similar to that collected in Wave 1.

Findings

The recruit sample reported significantly fewer mental health symptoms, as compared to career firefighters, at Time 1 (prior to workplace exposure). However, at Time 2 (after workplace exposure), no difference between the groups was evident.

Research limitations/implications

It is possible that recruit firefighters reported more positive mental health because of social desirability bias upon beginning a new job.

Practical implications

These results suggest that service as a firefighter could potentially have an impact on mental health and efforts should be made to mitigate this impact.

Originality/value

To the authors’ knowledge, the current research is the first study that has followed recruit firefighters longitudinally in an effort to prospectively evaluate the impact of workplace exposure on mental health.

Details

International Journal of Emergency Services, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2047-0894

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 May 2016

Shannon Wagner, Romana Pasca and Jordan Crosina

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the contribution of personality factors, especially hostility, as they related to traumatic stress and mental health symptoms in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the contribution of personality factors, especially hostility, as they related to traumatic stress and mental health symptoms in firefighters.

Design/methodology/approach

A group of paid-professional firefighters (n=94) completed a questionnaire study that included a demographic questionnaire, the Impact of Event Scale-Revised, the NEO Five-Factor Inventory-Revised, the Framingham Type A Scale, and the Symptom Checklist-90. Multiple regressions were used to evaluate the relationship between neuroticism or lack of agreeableness with hostility, controlling for Type A, years of service and age. Subsequently, hostility was used to predict traumatic stress and mental health symptoms, controlling for Type A, years of service, age, neuroticism, and lack of agreeableness.

Findings

Both neuroticism and lack of agreeableness were determined to be significant predictors of hostility. Further, hostility positively predicted somatization, obsessive-compulsive, interpersonal sensitivity, depression, anxiety, paranoid ideation, psychoticism, Global Severity Index, Positive Symptom Distress Index, and Positive Symptoms Total. Although not significant, trends that hostility also predicted traumatic stress and phobic anxiety were evident.

Originality/value

To the knowledge, this is the first study to specifically investigate the impact of hostility on mental health of paid-professional firefighters. In addition, the findings suggest that interventions to screen for and subsequently reduce hostility in firefighters may be beneficial for overall mental health (e.g. anger management training, etc.).

Details

International Journal of Emergency Services, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2047-0894

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 3 May 2016

Paresh Wankhade and DeMond Shondell Miller

383

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Emergency Services, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2047-0894

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