An Assessment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Psychology and Physical Health Comorbidity among Law Enforcement Officers
Date of Award
Master of Arts
Dr. Richard Spates
Dr. Malcolm Robertson
Dr. Michele Burnette
Masters Thesis-Open Access
A qualitative survey was employed to gather descriptive information on Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and collateral psychological and physical health conditions among law enforcement officers. Three diagnostic assessment instruments for PTSD were utilized including a self-report traumatic stress questionnaire to screen for PTSD, as well as provide information on the range of personal and on-the-job traumatic events experienced by officers. At a structured clinical follow-up interview the C-DIS-R and MCMI-III were used to verify a diagnosis of PTSD and establish psychological comorbidity on Axis I and Il, respectively. A self-report physical health questionnaire was also used to assess for physical health comorbidity at the interview.
Eight (21 %) of the 38 officers who participated were assessed by the C-DIS-R to have PTSD. Non-parametric analyses revealed that these PTSD-positive subjects, on average, had more Axis I and physical health collateral conditions than PTSD-negative subjects, but fewer Axis II disorders. This same trend held true for PTSD-positive subjects in comparison to the total sample. Chi-Square analysis revealed that PTSD-positive subjects were significantly more likely to meet diagnostic criteria for somatoform pain disorder, major depressive episodes, manic episodes, bipolar disorder, depressive episodes of a melancholic type, depression NOS, aggressive-sadistic personality disorder, gastrointestinal problems, fatigue, weight loss and chronic pain.
Belville, Terri L., "An Assessment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Psychology and Physical Health Comorbidity among Law Enforcement Officers" (1996). Masters Theses. 4635.