Journal Article

Psychological impact upon London Ambulance Service of the 2005 bombings

Monika Misra, Neil Greenberg, Chris Hutchinson, Andrea Brain and Nick Glozier

in Occupational Medicine

Published on behalf of Society of Occupational Medicine

Volume 59, issue 6, pages 428-433
Published in print September 2009 | ISSN: 0962-7480
Published online July 2009 | e-ISSN: 1471-8405 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/occmed/kqp100
Psychological impact upon London Ambulance Service of the 2005 bombings

Preview

Background This study was conducted following the London bombings of 7 July 2005.

Aims To assess the psychological impact of the 2005 London bombings on London Ambulance Service (LAS) personnel, risk factors for the development of psychological ill-health and employee awareness of post incident support.

Methods A total of 525 LAS personnel involved in the bombings, and a control group of uninvolved staff, were sent a questionnaire 2 months after the bombings. Main outcome measures were the presence of probable post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) measured using the Trauma Screening Questionnaire and substantial psychological distress using a tool identical to that used to assess the impact of these bombings on the population of London.

Results Fifty-six per cent of those who responded were involved in the bombings. Overall, including controls, the response rate was 32% (341). Four per cent of respondents reported probable PTSD and 13% reported substantial distress. Probable PTSD was more common in those involved in the bombings (6% overall), those working at the disaster scene and, in particular, at one of the incident locations (where 50% of all probable PTSD cases worked). The majority of staff were aware of the post incident support available and how to access this, particularly if personnel were involved in the bombings.

Conclusions The LAS did not report higher levels of probable PTSD and psychological distress than the rest of the London population; however, those more proximal to the incident were more likely to have been affected in spite of being aware of various staff support measures put in place.

Keywords: Emergency workers; London bombings; post-traumatic stress disorder; psychological distress; trauma

Journal Article.  2831 words. 

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