What is it about?

In a survey of 219 staff at one psychiatric hospital, nearly 25% self-reported PTSD symptoms at the level of probable PTSD. Among all the clinical and support staff working on the psychiatric units, nursing staff had the highest scores on the PTSD assessment. Symptoms were related to experiencing a range of distressing events related to patient care, including being assaulted but also non-violent behaviors such as constant screaming.

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Why is it important?

Most psychiatric patients are not violent, but psychiatric hospitals have distinct workplace characteristics that may impact trauma-related disorders. There has previously been little knowledge of workplace factors contributing to PTSD among psychiatric workers. This study suggests that trauma is related not just to violence, but also to chronic stressors involved in caring for persons with psychiatric disorders.

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This page is a summary of: Psychiatric Hospital Workers’ Exposure to Disturbing Patient Behavior and Its Relation to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms, Canadian Journal of Nursing Research, July 2017, SAGE Publications,
DOI: 10.1177/0844562117719202.
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