Sleep problems, depression, substance use, social bonding, and quality of life in professional firefighters

M G Carey et al, 2011
Journal of Occupational Medicine, Volume 53
August 17, 2011

Objective:

Little attention has been given to factors contributing to firefighters’ psychosomatic well-being. The purpose of this descriptive study was to examine such contributing factors in a sample of professional firefighters.

Methods:

Measures assessing sleep, depression, substance use, social bonding, and quality of life were examined in 112 firefighters.

Results:

Overall, many firefighters reported sleep deprivation (59%), binge drinking behavior (58%), poor mental well-being (21%), current nicotine use (20%), hazardous drinking behavior (14%), depression (11%), poor physical well-being (8%), caffeine overuse (5%), or poor social bonding (4%).

Conclusions:

Small-to-medium correlations were identified between sleep deprivation, depression, physical/mental well-being, and drinking behaviors. High-risk behaviors that impact psychosomatic well-being are prevalent in professional firefighters, which require environmental and individual-based health promotion interventions. The inter-correlation relationships between such behaviors, therefore, need to be explored in further details.

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