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Humanitarian relief workers and trauma-related mental illness.
Epidemiol Rev. 2012; 34:145-55.ER

Abstract

Humanitarian relief work is a growing field characterized by ongoing exposure to primary and secondary trauma, which has implications for workers' occupational mental health. This paper reviews and summarizes research to date on mental health effects of relief work. Twelve studies on relief workers and 5 studies on organizations that employ relief workers are examined to determine whether relief work is a risk factor for trauma-related mental illness. Although studies are inconsistent regarding methods and outcomes documenting trauma-related mental illness among relief workers, it appears that relief workers, compared with the general population, experience elevated trauma rates and suffer from more posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety. Organizations that employ relief workers have varying approaches to train for these risks, and more support in the field is needed.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard School of Public Health and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA 02215, USA. econnort@hsph.harvard.eduNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Review

Language

eng

PubMed ID

22180469

Citation

Connorton, Ellen, et al. "Humanitarian Relief Workers and Trauma-related Mental Illness." Epidemiologic Reviews, vol. 34, 2012, pp. 145-55.
Connorton E, Perry MJ, Hemenway D, et al. Humanitarian relief workers and trauma-related mental illness. Epidemiol Rev. 2012;34:145-55.
Connorton, E., Perry, M. J., Hemenway, D., & Miller, M. (2012). Humanitarian relief workers and trauma-related mental illness. Epidemiologic Reviews, 34, 145-55. https://doi.org/10.1093/epirev/mxr026
Connorton E, et al. Humanitarian Relief Workers and Trauma-related Mental Illness. Epidemiol Rev. 2012;34:145-55. PubMed PMID: 22180469.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Humanitarian relief workers and trauma-related mental illness. AU - Connorton,Ellen, AU - Perry,Melissa J, AU - Hemenway,David, AU - Miller,Matthew, Y1 - 2011/12/15/ PY - 2011/12/20/entrez PY - 2011/12/20/pubmed PY - 2012/6/1/medline SP - 145 EP - 55 JF - Epidemiologic reviews JO - Epidemiol Rev VL - 34 N2 - Humanitarian relief work is a growing field characterized by ongoing exposure to primary and secondary trauma, which has implications for workers' occupational mental health. This paper reviews and summarizes research to date on mental health effects of relief work. Twelve studies on relief workers and 5 studies on organizations that employ relief workers are examined to determine whether relief work is a risk factor for trauma-related mental illness. Although studies are inconsistent regarding methods and outcomes documenting trauma-related mental illness among relief workers, it appears that relief workers, compared with the general population, experience elevated trauma rates and suffer from more posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety. Organizations that employ relief workers have varying approaches to train for these risks, and more support in the field is needed. SN - 1478-6729 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/22180469/full_citation L2 - https://academic.oup.com/epirev/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/epirev/mxr026 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -