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Psychological distress, depression, anxiety, and burnout among international humanitarian aid workers: a longitudinal study.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(9):e44948.Plos

Abstract

BACKGROUND

International humanitarian aid workers providing care in emergencies are subjected to numerous chronic and traumatic stressors.

OBJECTIVES

To examine consequences of such experiences on aid workers' mental health and how the impact is influenced by moderating variables.

METHODOLOGY

We conducted a longitudinal study in a sample of international non-governmental organizations. Study outcomes included anxiety, depression, burnout, and life and job satisfaction. We performed bivariate regression analyses at three time points. We fitted generalized estimating equation multivariable regression models for the longitudinal analyses.

RESULTS

Study participants from 19 NGOs were assessed at three time points: 212 participated at pre-deployment; 169 (80%) post-deployment; and 154 (73%) within 3-6 months after deployment. Prior to deployment, 12 (3.8%) participants reported anxiety symptoms, compared to 20 (11.8%) at post-deployment (p = 0.0027); 22 (10.4%) reported depression symptoms, compared to 33 (19.5%) at post-deployment (p = 0.0117) and 31 (20.1%) at follow-up (p = .00083). History of mental illness (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 4.2; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.45-12.50) contributed to an increased risk for anxiety. The experience of extraordinary stress was a contributor to increased risk for burnout depersonalization (AOR 1.5; 95% CI 1.17-1.83). Higher levels of chronic stress exposure during deployment were contributors to an increased risk for depression (AOR 1.1; 95% CI 1.02-1.20) comparing post- versus pre-deployment, and increased risk for burnout emotional exhaustion (AOR 1.1; 95% CI 1.04-1.19). Social support was associated with lower levels of depression (AOR 0.9; 95% CI 0.84-0.95), psychological distress (AOR = 0.9; [CI] 0.85-0.97), burnout lack of personal accomplishment (AOR 0.95; 95% CI 0.91-0.98), and greater life satisfaction (p = 0.0213).

CONCLUSIONS

When recruiting and preparing aid workers for deployment, organizations should consider history of mental illness and take steps to decrease chronic stressors, and strengthen social support networks.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Center for Global Health, International Emergency and Refugee Health Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America. bhc8@cdc.govNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

22984592

Citation

Lopes Cardozo, Barbara, et al. "Psychological Distress, Depression, Anxiety, and Burnout Among International Humanitarian Aid Workers: a Longitudinal Study." PloS One, vol. 7, no. 9, 2012, pp. e44948.
Lopes Cardozo B, Gotway Crawford C, Eriksson C, et al. Psychological distress, depression, anxiety, and burnout among international humanitarian aid workers: a longitudinal study. PLoS ONE. 2012;7(9):e44948.
Lopes Cardozo, B., Gotway Crawford, C., Eriksson, C., Zhu, J., Sabin, M., Ager, A., Foy, D., Snider, L., Scholte, W., Kaiser, R., Olff, M., Rijnen, B., & Simon, W. (2012). Psychological distress, depression, anxiety, and burnout among international humanitarian aid workers: a longitudinal study. PloS One, 7(9), e44948. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0044948
Lopes Cardozo B, et al. Psychological Distress, Depression, Anxiety, and Burnout Among International Humanitarian Aid Workers: a Longitudinal Study. PLoS ONE. 2012;7(9):e44948. PubMed PMID: 22984592.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Psychological distress, depression, anxiety, and burnout among international humanitarian aid workers: a longitudinal study. AU - Lopes Cardozo,Barbara, AU - Gotway Crawford,Carol, AU - Eriksson,Cynthia, AU - Zhu,Julia, AU - Sabin,Miriam, AU - Ager,Alastair, AU - Foy,David, AU - Snider,Leslie, AU - Scholte,Willem, AU - Kaiser,Reinhard, AU - Olff,Miranda, AU - Rijnen,Bas, AU - Simon,Winnifred, Y1 - 2012/09/12/ PY - 2011/12/16/received PY - 2012/08/14/accepted PY - 2012/9/18/entrez PY - 2012/9/18/pubmed PY - 2013/3/13/medline SP - e44948 EP - e44948 JF - PloS one JO - PLoS ONE VL - 7 IS - 9 N2 - BACKGROUND: International humanitarian aid workers providing care in emergencies are subjected to numerous chronic and traumatic stressors. OBJECTIVES: To examine consequences of such experiences on aid workers' mental health and how the impact is influenced by moderating variables. METHODOLOGY: We conducted a longitudinal study in a sample of international non-governmental organizations. Study outcomes included anxiety, depression, burnout, and life and job satisfaction. We performed bivariate regression analyses at three time points. We fitted generalized estimating equation multivariable regression models for the longitudinal analyses. RESULTS: Study participants from 19 NGOs were assessed at three time points: 212 participated at pre-deployment; 169 (80%) post-deployment; and 154 (73%) within 3-6 months after deployment. Prior to deployment, 12 (3.8%) participants reported anxiety symptoms, compared to 20 (11.8%) at post-deployment (p = 0.0027); 22 (10.4%) reported depression symptoms, compared to 33 (19.5%) at post-deployment (p = 0.0117) and 31 (20.1%) at follow-up (p = .00083). History of mental illness (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 4.2; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.45-12.50) contributed to an increased risk for anxiety. The experience of extraordinary stress was a contributor to increased risk for burnout depersonalization (AOR 1.5; 95% CI 1.17-1.83). Higher levels of chronic stress exposure during deployment were contributors to an increased risk for depression (AOR 1.1; 95% CI 1.02-1.20) comparing post- versus pre-deployment, and increased risk for burnout emotional exhaustion (AOR 1.1; 95% CI 1.04-1.19). Social support was associated with lower levels of depression (AOR 0.9; 95% CI 0.84-0.95), psychological distress (AOR = 0.9; [CI] 0.85-0.97), burnout lack of personal accomplishment (AOR 0.95; 95% CI 0.91-0.98), and greater life satisfaction (p = 0.0213). CONCLUSIONS: When recruiting and preparing aid workers for deployment, organizations should consider history of mental illness and take steps to decrease chronic stressors, and strengthen social support networks. SN - 1932-6203 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/22984592/full_citation L2 - http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0044948 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -