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Behav. Sci. 2013, 3(4), 587-600; doi:10.3390/bs3040587

Psychological Distress and Post-Traumatic Symptoms Following Occupational Accidents

1,* , 1
1 Department of General Psychology, University of Padova, Via Venezia, 8, 35131 Padova, Italy 2 Department of Psychology, Middlebury College, McCardell Bicentennial Hall, 276 Bicentennial Way, Middlebury, VT 05753, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 August 2013 / Revised: 15 October 2013 / Accepted: 21 October 2013 / Published: 25 October 2013
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Depression and post-traumatic stress disorder frequently occur as a consequence of occupational accidents. To date, research has been primarily focused on high-risk workers, such as police officers or firefighters, and has rarely considered individuals whose occupational environment involves the risk of severe, but not necessarily life-threatening, injury. Therefore, the present study was aimed at assessing the psychological consequences of accidents occurring in several occupational settings (e.g., construction and industry). Thirty-eight victims of occupational accidents (injured workers) and 38 gender-, age-, and years of education-matched workers who never experienced a work accident (control group) were recruited. All participants underwent a semi-structured interview administered by a trained psychologist, and then were requested to fill in the questionnaires. Injured workers reported more severe anxious, post-traumatic and depressive symptoms, and poorer coping skills, as compared to controls. In the injured group low levels of resilience predicted post-traumatic symptomatology, whereas the degree of physical injury and the length of time since the accident did not play a predictive role. The results suggest that occupational accidents may result in a disabling psychopathological condition, and that a brief psychological evaluation should be included in the assessment of seriously injured workers.
Keywords: work accidents; trauma; psychological distress; post-traumatic stress disorder; assessment work accidents; trauma; psychological distress; post-traumatic stress disorder; assessment
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Ghisi, M.; Novara, C.; Buodo, G.; Kimble, M.O.; Scozzari, S.; Natale, A.D.; Sanavio, E.; Palomba, D. Psychological Distress and Post-Traumatic Symptoms Following Occupational Accidents. Behav. Sci. 2013, 3, 587-600.

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