Post-traumatic stress disorder among bank employee victims of robbery

Occup Med (Lond). 2015 Jun;65(4):283-9. doi: 10.1093/occmed/kqu180. Epub 2014 Dec 20.


Background: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the occupational context, especially following workplace robbery, is still under-investigated.

Aims: To evaluate PTSD incidence and risk factors among bank employee victims of robbery voluntarily joining an employer-sponsored post-robbery support programme.

Methods: The programme entailed a structured support interview with robbery victims within 15 days of the robbery and a follow-up psychological assessment 45 days after. A self-reported questionnaire on personal variables and robbery characteristics was administered to participants at the first support session (T1). Interviews on employees' psychophysical health and their opinion about the support programme were administered individually at follow-up (T2). The Impact of Event Scale (IES) was administered both at T1 and T2.

Results: There were 383 participants. At T2, 13% of subjects had an IES score >34, a cut-off suggestive of PTSD. In a multi-variate model, feelings of helplessness and terror during the robbery and the number of previous robberies were associated with a PTSD diagnosis. After including IES score at T1, other variables lost statistical significance.

Conclusions: Our findings showed that PTSD is common among employee victims of workplace robbery. Our results also suggest the importance of subjective variables, such as personal perception of robbery severity and early emotional reaction, in identifying people at higher risk of developing PTSD.

Keywords: Crisis management programme; PTSD bank robbery; violence; workplace trauma..

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Crime Victims / psychology*
  • Crime Victims / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / etiology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Theft / psychology*
  • Theft / statistics & numerical data