Author(s): Leino TM, Selin R, Summala H, Virtanen M
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Police officers and security guards are more exposed to violence during their work duties than the general workforce and it can damage their psychological health. Still research on specific forms of violence and a potential pathway through which violence may affect distress is scarce. AIMS: The aim of this study was to investigate the association of two forms of violence with distress among police officers and security guards and whether personal worry about future violence mediates this association. METHODS: Violence was specified as physically violent acts and threats or assaults with a deadly weapon. Symptoms of psychological distress were measured using the General Health Questionnaire-12 scale. RESULTS: Analyses of 1993 completed responses (response rate 58\%) showed that the odds ratio of distress for 'physically violent acts was' 1.67 (95\% CI = 1.11-2.51) and for 'threats or assaults with a deadly weapon' 1.62 (95\% CI = 1.20-2.17). When personal worry about future violence was taken into account, the association between exposure to physically violent acts and distress was completely broken. Instead, with the same adjustment, the association between exposure to threats or assaults with a deadly weapon and distress held. The results indicate that the association between physically violent acts and distress is mediated by personal worry about future violence, while threats or assaults with a deadly weapon had a stronger and independent association with distress. CONCLUSIONS: It is concluded that there is association between violence and distress. Personal worry about future violence mediates this association.
This article was published in Occup Med (Lond)
and referenced in Journal of Nutritional Disorders & Therapy