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Reading: The psychological impact of war on health professionals : a preliminary study

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Original Papers

The psychological impact of war on health professionals : a preliminary study

Authors:

Adnan Abdilamajeed Faraj ,

Kirkuk Medical school, IQ
About Adnan
Associate Professor, Kirkuk Medical school
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Abdilkareem Khidir Abbas,

Azadi teaching hospital, IQ
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Rosana Lavado-Perez

Abstract

Background: Working in direct contact with mass casualties is stressful. Studies on the impact of exposure to mass casualties over a prolonged period of time are sparse due to logistical reasons. The current paper studies the impacts of prolonged conflict and exposure to mass casualties among Iraqi health professionals in Kirkuk.

Method: The Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS) was randomly distributed among staff of a teaching Hospital in Kirkuk, Iraq. Fifty nine health professionals returned the questionnaires. Of those who responded, 24 health professionals were from the surgical casualty department, 20 were employed in the mortuary and 15 were serving in medical wards not directly dealing with surgical incidents.

Results: The impact of handling mass casualties has affected both genders and all age groups. There was a higher incidence of depression among females.  Overall, the DASS score was highest among mortuary staff and lowest among medical ward health professionals who were not directly in contact with casualties.

Conclusion: Health professionals exposed to mass casualties, especially those dealing directly with them, are likely to suffer from symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress. Monitoring their mental health will assist to minimise the psychological distress associated with their occupations.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4038/sljpsyc.v5i1.6506

SL J Psychiatry 2014; 5 (1): 7-9

 

DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljpsyc.v5i1.6506
How to Cite: Faraj, A.A., Abbas, A.K. & Lavado-Perez, R., (2014). The psychological impact of war on health professionals : a preliminary study. Sri Lanka Journal of Psychiatry. 5(1), pp.7–9. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljpsyc.v5i1.6506
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Published on 27 Jun 2014.
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