Coping styles and dispositional optimism as predictors of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms intensity in paramedics
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Zakład Dydaktyki i Symulacji Medycznej, Uniwersytet Medyczny w Lublinie
Wojewódzki Szpital dla Nerwowo i Psychicznie Chorych w Suchowoli
Zakład Psychologii Wychowawczej i Psychologii Rodziny, Uniwersytet Marii Curie-Skłodowskiej w Lublinie
Wydział Inżynierii Produkcji, Katedra Maszyn Rolniczych i Transportowych, Uniwersytet Przyrodniczy w Lublinie
Katedra i Klinika Chirurgii Urazowej i Medycyny Ratunkowej, Uniwersytet Medyczny w Lublinie
Submission date: 2016-01-30
Final revision date: 2017-01-09
Acceptance date: 2017-01-16
Online publication date: 2018-06-30
Publication date: 2018-06-30
Corresponding author
Tomasz Kucmin   

Zakład Dydaktyki i Symulacji Medycznej, ul Jaczewskiego 4, 20-090 Lublin, Polska
Psychiatr Pol 2018;52(3):557-571
The aim of the study was to determine the relationship between the severity of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and such predictors as coping style and dispositional optimism in the group of professional paramedics.

The study was conducted in a group of 440 paramedics employed by various units of the Polish Emergency Medical Service in five voivodships. Finally, research data obtained from 159 people were analyzed. The mean age of the respondents was 34.14 (SD = 8.67), mean work experience – 9.22 years (SD = 7.67). The majority of participants were male (N = 139, 87.4%), which reflects the gender balance observed in this particular professional group. Intensity of PTSD symptoms was assessed using the Impact of Event Scale – Revised (IES-R). Dispositional optimism was evaluated by means of the Life Orientation Test – Revised (LOT-R) and coping styles were measured with the use of the multi-faceted Coping Orientations to Problems Expected (COPE) inventory.

On the basis of the conducted studies, it can be concluded that PTSD concerns 28% of the participants. Hierarchical regression analysis revealed that general risk of PTSD symptoms occurrence is caused by preferred coping style, namely the emotion-focused coping style (positive predictor). Furthermore, two-factor interaction regression analysis showed that dispositional optimism can play a role as a mediator of the relationship between PTSD general index and the emotion-focused coping style.

Paramedics are more prone to develop PTSD symptoms than general population. This indicates the need for preventive steps to be taken in the professional group of paramedics taking into consideration their coping styles and level of dispositional optimism.

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