The prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder among emergency nurses: a cross sectional study in northern Iran

Biomedicine (Taipei). 2019 Sep;9(3):19. doi: 10.1051/bmdcn/2019090319. Epub 2019 Aug 27.


Background and objective: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is one of the anxiety disorders which occurs in response to facing events and accidents accompanied by fear, frustration, and terror. Nurses who worked in the emergency departments witness unpleasant accidents and are exposed to stress and violence more than others. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of PTSD among Iranian nurses working in the emergency department.

Materials and methods: In this cross-sectional study, all nurses working in the emergency department of educational hospitals affiliated with Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences were included through census method (n = 131). Each of the participants in this study responded to the questionnaires individually. The first part of the questionnaire captured demographics, while the second part was the Civilian Mississippi Scale for PTSD, which was used to investigate the extent of PTSD in this study. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 22.

Results: In this study, 131 respondents were included. In the classification of age, nurses with 20-30-year- old had the maximum frequency (41.2 %,). Most nurses in the study (93.1%, n = 122) had a bachelor's degree in nursing and 84 were married. The prevalence of PTSD in emergency nurses was 82.96%, which was higher in nurses with shorter working background and nurses with lower levels of education. Further, the average score of PTSD was higher in married nurses.

Conclusion: The results of this study revealed the high prevalence of PTSD among nurses who worked in emergency department. Therefore, it seems that designing and providing supportive and educational services to emergency nurses can be effective for preventing and managing this disorder, which probably can improve their performance.

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