Peritraumatic distress among emergency medical system employees: A proposed cut-off for the Peritraumatic Distress Inventory
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Department of Emergency Medicine, Medical University, Lublin, Poland
Department of Anaesthesiological and Intensive Care Nursing, Medical University, Lublin, Poland
Department of Applied Psychology, Medical University, Lublin, Poland
Corresponding author
Joanna Milanowska   

Department of Applied Psychology Medical University of Lublin
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2019;26(4):579-584
Emergency medical system (EMS) workers are exposed to traumatic events that may lead to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The purpose of this study was to explore and discuss the relationship between peritraumatic distress (PD) and elevated posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) in EMS employees.

Material and methods:
A cross-sectional study including 100 EMS employees was conducted. Demographic and occupational data were collected for each subject. The Polish version of the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R) was used to evaluate PTSS and the Polish version of the Peritraumatic Distress Inventory (PDI) was used to determine the level of PD experienced during and immediately after a traumatic event.

The highest scores indicative of distress were obtained on the negative emotions subscale, and the lowest on the loss of control and arousal (LCA) subscales. A strong positive correlation was found between the severity of PD and PTSS. Among the PDI subscales, the severity of PTSS was most strongly correlated with LCA, and had the weakest correlation with sense of threat. The optimal PDI cut-off score for predicting elevated PTSS was 19.

PD is strongly related to elevated PTSS and serves as a useful tool for screening EMS workers at risk of developing PTSD. Individuals with PDI scores of 19 or higher are good candidates for specialist consultations aimed at detecting and treating elevated PTSS.

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