LONG-TERM PSYCHOSOCIAL IMPACT ON POLICE OFFICERS: POST-HURRICANCE KATRINA
VIOLANTI, JOHN M Principal Investigator
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DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The present proposal seeks to examine the long term post- hurricane Katrina impact on police officers who policed the disaster in St. Bernard Parish, LA, one of the most devastated areas. We will examine associations in police officers concerning psychological symptomatology, to include posttraumatic stress disorder, perceived stress, and depression. Analyses will also include potential protective factors against stress and trauma, to include organization and social support, resiliency, and posttraumatic growth. Based on results from this initial assessment, we plan to develop, in future work, intervention strategies which are best suited for helping affected officers deal with their problems. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Exposure to natural disasters may lead to long term sequalae of posttraumatic stress and other psychological anomalies. The police, charged with first response maintenance of order, rescue and recovery, and their own personal losses, are at increased risk for such long term effects. This study proposes a post hurricane Katrina assessment of long term psychological and social impact on the St. Bernard Parish Sherriff's Department; as well as protective factors which may ameliorate such an impact.