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Article
Publication date: 22 June 2012

Shannon L. Wagner and Melanie O’Neill

The purpose of this paper is to add to the overall body of literature regarding mental health implications related to fire service membership; in particular, to look…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to add to the overall body of literature regarding mental health implications related to fire service membership; in particular, to look specifically at the implications of volunteer membership and to compare results with previous research looking at paid‐professional members.

Design/methodology/approach

Responses to the Impact of Event Scale‐Revised (IES‐R), the Neuroticism‐Extroversion‐Openness Personality Inventory (NEO‐PI) and the Symptom checklist (SCL)‐90R were collected from a sample of volunteer firefighters (n=64), as well as from a similar comparison sample (n=103).

Findings

Volunteer fire service members reported significantly higher rates of posttraumatic stress symptomatology when compared to a similar group of comparison participants. In contrast, no differences were found in other types of mental health symptomatology between the volunteer fire fighters and comparison group. Additionally, there appeared to be few differences in the patterns regarding prediction of mental health symptomatology from individual personality characteristics for the two groups. Generally, the authors’ results suggested that, regardless of group, neuroticism was a predictor of mental health symptomatology in many domains.

Originality/value

To the authors’ knowledge, this is the only available study to have as its primary intent to describe the mental health implications of volunteer fire service membership, as opposed to a similar comparison sample. In addition, the authors’ data provide some meaningful comparison with previously published results found in a paid‐professional sample; such comparison, to this point, has been unavailable.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Article
Publication date: 8 November 2011

Shannon L. Wagner

The Impact of Events Scale (IES)/Impact of Events Scale – Revised (IES‐R) is arguably one of the most well known tools used to assess post‐traumatic symptomatology. The…

Abstract

Purpose

The Impact of Events Scale (IES)/Impact of Events Scale – Revised (IES‐R) is arguably one of the most well known tools used to assess post‐traumatic symptomatology. The background literature reveals a significant gap with respect to the structural properties of the IES/IES‐R when used with emergency service populations. In response to these identified gaps, this paper aims to provide an evaluation of the structural properties of the three‐factor IES‐R when used specifically with a firefighting sample.

Design/methodology/approach

Responses to IES‐R for a sample of paid‐professional firefighters (n=94) and a sample of similar comparison participants (n=91) were evaluated for support of the suggested IES‐R subscales – i.e. hyperarousal, avoidance and intrusions. Responses for both groups were entered into a three‐factor maximum likelihood factor analysis with direct oblimin rotation.

Findings

The results provide further support for the use of these subscales when the IES‐R is employed with a community sample. However, the factor structure for the three suggested subscales was not supported for the firefighters' responses. With the firefighting sample, some items for the intrusion subscale loaded as expected, but no discernible pattern was evident for the hyperarousal or avoidance subscales. Given the lack of support for a three‐factor structure with the firefighting sample, scree plot analysis was used to suggest that a two‐factor solution may provide the best fit solution. The two‐factor solution revealed a construct described as general “post‐traumatic symptomatology” and a potential second factor described as “sleep”.

Originality/value

The author suggests a conservative approach to using the IES‐R with first responder samples, in particular firefighters, and recommends the use of an overall score in place of subscale scores. This recommendation is suggested as a temporary approach until additional research can be completed to further evaluate the present lack of support for the three IES‐R subscales when used with a firefighting sample.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 20 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 19 November 2020

Abstract

Details

The Impact of Global Drug Policy on Women: Shifting the Needle
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-885-0

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 14 January 2019

Morgan R. Clevenger and Cynthia J. MacGregor

Abstract

Details

Business and Corporation Engagement with Higher Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-656-1

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Article
Publication date: 25 September 2019

Shannon Wagner, Nicole White, Lynda R. Matthews, Christine Randall, Cheryl Regehr, Marc White, Lynn E. Alden, Nicholas Buys, Mary G. Carey, Wayne Corneil, Trina Fyfe, Elyssa Krutop, Alex Fraess-Phillips and Matthew H. Fleischmann

The purpose of this systematic review is to evaluate the extant literature on depression and anxiety disorders in police using a multinational data set to determine…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this systematic review is to evaluate the extant literature on depression and anxiety disorders in police using a multinational data set to determine whether the prevalence of these trauma-related disorders (TRMDs) is elevated in comparison to the general population.

Design/methodology/approach

Systematic review was employed in combination with best-evidence narrative synthesis to evaluate these hypotheses.

Findings

Despite wide variability in prevalence outcomes across the literature, strong evidence supports the hypothesis that the prevalence of depression is elevated in police, whereas moderate evidence supports the same hypothesis regarding anxiety. Preliminary evaluation of commonly examined predictive factors for each disorder demonstrated weak and inconsistent associations between these TRMDs and sociodemographic factors. No studies evaluated the relationship between incident-related factors (e.g. severity or frequency of exposure) and TRMDs, thus, at present, the literature on police is almost entirely unable to address the question of whether the prevalence of these disorders in police is influenced by exposure to work-related trauma.

Research limitations/implications

The findings highlight a critical need for future work to address incident-related factors in predicting symptoms of depression and anxiety in police samples to determine whether these disorders bear a unique relationship to work-related traumatic exposure. Such work will significantly benefit the design and implementation of successful prevention and intervention strategies in the workplace.

Originality/value

The present review provides a comprehensive synthesis of a highly variable literature, highlighting critical gaps in our current knowledge of TRMDs in police and suggesting numerous avenues for future study.

Details

Policing: An International Journal, vol. 43 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 20 November 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

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Article
Publication date: 7 November 2016

Shannon Wagner, Alex Fraess-Phillips and Kelly Mikkelson

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the predispositional hypothesis related to the “rescue personality” and the mental health of firefighter recruits.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the predispositional hypothesis related to the “rescue personality” and the mental health of firefighter recruits.

Design/methodology/approach

This study compared responses to a written set of personality and mental health measures between firefighter recruits and non-rescue comparison participants – individually matched based on age, gender, ethnicity, and marital status. Data analysis involved statistical one-way between subjects analyses of variance complemented with epidemiological paired odds ratio calculations.

Findings

The results indicated that firefighter recruits self-reported as less open to experience, less neurotic, and less Type A. They also self-reported as less likely to report somatization, hostility, and posttraumatic stress symptomatology than comparison participants. Recruits were higher in extraversion and conscientiousness, but indicated no differences in perceptions of risk or sensation-seeking behaviour.

Originality/value

The present study contributes to the literature on firefighter recruits and provides some initial data regarding personality of those attracted to the fire services, as well as information about the mental health of firefighters prior to service. Mitchell’s “rescue personality” was partly supported and evidence was provided suggesting that new recruits have strong self-perceived mental health.

Details

International Journal of Emergency Services, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2047-0894

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Article
Publication date: 2 May 2017

Alex Fraess-Phillips, Shannon Wagner and R. Luke Harris

The purpose of this paper is to provide a review of the literature with respect to traumatic stress in a firefighting context. The goal was to provide a clear and concise…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a review of the literature with respect to traumatic stress in a firefighting context. The goal was to provide a clear and concise review intended for use by both researchers and practitioners. Firefighters are an under-researched group in the academic literature and updated review articles are necessary to advance this body of work.

Design/methodology/approach

Searches of the English language literature on firefighters and traumatic stress were completed and supplemented with a review of clinical information related to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The search was comprehensive but was not guided by systematic review guidelines.

Findings

Research regarding firefighters and traumatic stress is limited and inconsistent in outcome. Much of the available literature supports a link between fire service work and increased post-traumatic symptomatology; however, some research has neglected to demonstrate a relationship for these factors. Some efforts such as the training of coping skills and team building may improve firefighters’ resilience to PTSD, while therapeutic and psychopharmacological treatments may be effective in reducing PTSD progression.

Originality/value

To the authors’ knowledge, no previous paper is available that has specifically intended to address firefighters and traumatic stress in a review format for researchers and practitioners. In the authors’ experience, fire service members are eager for literature addressing their profession and presented in a manner accessible for both non-academic and academic audiences.

Details

International Journal of Emergency Services, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2047-0894

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2011

Matthias Sander and Claudia Fantapié Altobelli

This paper examines the effects of virtual advertising in a sports broadcast setting. We analyse the conspicuousness of virtual advertising and match the results with…

Abstract

This paper examines the effects of virtual advertising in a sports broadcast setting. We analyse the conspicuousness of virtual advertising and match the results with explanatory variables like brand awareness, duration of exposure and frequency of exposure. Furthermore, we measure the role of attitudes towards advertising in general and its impact on attitudes towards virtual advertising of the respondents. Our results indicate that most respondents recognise virtual advertising as such. Advertising effectiveness is driven to a large degree by the frequency of exposure. A positive attitude towards advertising in general leads to a positive attitude towards virtual advertising of the participants.

Details

International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1464-6668

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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…

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

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