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Original Article

SJEMed. 2023; 4(2): 341-346

The prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among emergency medical services personnel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Murdhi Halw AlAnazi, Alfatimah Alsabi, Abdullah Almegbal, Abdulaziz Abdulrahman Alabdullatif.


Background: Emergency medical services personnel are not aware of the significance and the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among them and its effect on their mental well-being and the quality of patient care.
Objective: The current study aimed to assess the prevalence of PTSD and its associated factors among emergency medical services personnel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted including all accessible emergency medical services personnel working at five hospitals in Riyadh during the period from November to December 2022. Data were collected using the three-phase method including identification of eligible care providers, approaching using an interview-based questionnaire, and recruitment of the questionnaires that were administered to all pre-hospital care providers.
Results: A total of 138 emergency personnel were included. A total of 74 (53.6%) were emergency specialists, 12 (8.7%) were emergency technicians, 39 (28.3%) were interns or physicians, and 13 (9.4%) were nurses or paramedics. The most endorsed symptoms included loss of interest in activities that the participants used to enjoy (45.7%), followed by feeling very upset when something reminded them of the stressful experience (44.2%), and trouble falling or staying asleep. A total of 42 (30.4%) participants experienced PTSD (95% CI: 23.1%-38.2%).
The current study revealed that nearly one out of each three emergency personnel experienced symptoms coping with PTSD. The higher rate was estimated among old age and participants with higher experience years. Avoiding memories and sleep disturbance were the most reported symptoms.

Key words: Post-traumatic stress, psychological disorders, emergency staff, prevalence, determinants.

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