Term of Award
Doctor of Public Health in Epidemiology (Dr.P.H.)
Document Type and Release Option
Dissertation (open access)
Copyright Statement / License for Reuse
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Environmental Health Sciences
Committee Member 1
Committee Member 2
In 2019, the Emergency Medical System (EMS) employed over 20,000 personnel in the state of Georgia. EMS personnel were often exposed to unsafe working conditions while caring for injured patients, emphasizing that the workplace served as a potential occupational health intervention site. At the time of this study, there was no surveillance for EMS personnel’s employee wellness or any solutions to improve psychosocial wellness in the workplace in Georgia. The purpose of this quantitative, cross-sectional study was to determine the association of current physical and mental health outcomes in Georgia EMS personnel, as it relates to the presence of workplace wellness strategies and work-related stressors. Our study presented the findings of health help-seeking behaviors and coping skills regarding workplace support by geographic area, gender, age, and license level. The online and paper surveys were distributed to EMS personnel across Georgia’s hospital-based, municipal, and private EMS agencies. The sample included 218 participants who consented to participate in the study. For modeling purposes, the completed sample (114 participants) were included within the full analysis (54.2% completion rate). Descriptive statistics, T-test, F-test, linear, and linear regressions were conducted. During COVID-19, participants reported significant exposure to traumatic incidents at work (N=116, 96%), having low social support (scored 2.93 out of 5 points), and increased use of avoidant coping skills (scored 6.2 out of 8 points). Among all participants, sleep at work was less than 1.7 hours less than when sleep at home (t-test=25.75, p-value <0.0001). There was no difference between Career and Novice EMS personnel for sleep efficiency. In our logistic model, Novice EMS personnel were 1.52 times more likely to use approach coping skills, which suggested more avoidant coping skills utilization as the career lengthened (95% CI [1.009-1.893], p-value=0.0435). Overall, findings from this study demonstrated significant mental health outcomes and coping skills within the EMS personnel and that symptoms of distress worsened the longer personnel are in the field. Future studies should investigate regional-specific feasible, low-cost interventions to improve mental and physical health outcomes in staff.
Robinson, Carlene A., "No Rest for the Weary: The Association of Quality of Life and Health Outcomes in EMS Personnel" (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2494.
Research Data and Supplementary Material
Available for download on Tuesday, November 07, 2023
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