Best practice intervention for post-traumatic stress disorder among transit workers
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BACKGROUND: Transportation industry workers are at high risk for exposure to traumatic incidents in the workplace. A considerable number of those exposed to such incidents will develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, which leads to high rates of absenteeism and are costly to the public transit corporation and workplace safety compensation insurance. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether the newly implemented Best Practice Intervention (BPI) provides superior outcomeswhen compared with Treatment-as-Usual (TAU) interventions in improving workers' rates of return to work (RTW), decreasing duration of time lost from work and overall reduction in severity of PTSD symptoms 6 months after exposure. METHODS: A sequential mixed methods approach was used with qualitative analysis followed by a pre-post intervention design. Sixty-two participants were recruited to the (TAU) phase of the study and 79 to the (BPI) phase. RESULTS: Significant differences were observed between the TAU and BPI groups in number of lost work days (TAU: 20 days vs. BPI: 52 days, p = 0.02). PTSD symptoms decreased with time (MPPS score: 51.3 vs. 24.35; p < 0.001). One-fifth of the participants (21 %) did not return to work by the end of the 6 months follow-up period. CONCLUSIONS: The study demonstrated the value of workplace interventions in improving awareness of psychological symptoms after exposure to a traumatic incident and the value of screening for PTSD symptoms.
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