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Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in United States Corrections Professionals: Prevalence and Impact on Health and Functioning

The purpose of this study was to estimate current posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) prevalence rates among United States’ corrections professionals, and explore indices of psychological., physical., and occupational status and functioning in relation to PTSD. Using a secure online application, a nationwide sample of corrections professionals (N=3599) completed the PTSD Checklist-Civilian Version (PCL-C), the Depression, Anxiety, Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21), the Impact on Functioning Scale (IOFS), and the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS). Participants responded to questions indicating the degree to which they witnessed or experienced incidents of workplace violence, injury and death (VID) and related emotions. Participants also responded to questions about health-related behaviors and conditions, and functioning. Results indicated an overall PTSD prevalence rate of 27% for symptoms experienced over the past 30 days. Analysis of subgroups indicated that males and security/custody personnel had significantly higher PTSD rates than females and nonsecurity staff, respectively. In reference to the entire sample, PTSD-positive participants reported significantly 1) more exposure to workplace VID and negative VID-related emotions, 2) higher levels of depression, anxiety, and stress, 3) more absenteeism, health services utilization, health conditions, and substance use, and 4) lower levels of pro-health behaviors, life functioning, and life satisfaction. Implications and future areas of research are discussed

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