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Factors Influencing the Mental Health of Firefighters in Shantou City, China

Authors Chen X, Zhang L, Peng Z, Chen S

Received 13 February 2020

Accepted for publication 17 June 2020

Published 1 July 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 529—536


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Igor Elman

Xiaojun Chen,1 Lishao Zhang,1 Zhekuang Peng,2 Shaoxing Chen1

1Department of Hospital Office, The First Affiliated Hospital of Shantou University Medical College, Shantou, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Public Health, The Third Affiliated Hospital of SunYet-Sen University, Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence: Shaoxing Chen
Department of Public Health, The First Affiliated Hospital of Shantou University Medical College, 57# Changping Road, Shantou 515041, People’s Republic of China
Tel +86-754-88252184

Background: Firefighters are routinely exposed to occupational stress and are therefore vulnerable to psychological problems.
Patients and Methods: This study assessed the prevalence of mental health symptoms and potential contributing factors in a sample of firefighters in Shantou city, in the Guangdong Province of China. We conducted a cross-sectional survey with 335 firefighters, including 329 male and 6 female firefighters. We used a questionnaire which assessed anxiety and depression, as indicated by the Zung Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (SAS) and Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS), as well as other mental health symptoms, using the Symptom Checklist-90 (SCL-90). Basic information and potential-related factors were also collected.
Results: The average age of participants was 27.38 (SD ± 6.11) years. Assessed by the indexed score of different scales, SAS and SDS positive screening rates were 6.86% and 22.68%, respectively. SCL-90 scores indicated that 6.86% of participants had mental health symptoms. Logistic regression analysis showed that educational level, firefighter rank, and birth order were associated with mental health outcomes. Firefighters in Shantou were also shown to have better mental health outcomes than the Chinese military, but worse than the national population of firefighters.
Conclusion: These findings indicated the mental health of firefighters is not good. It is necessary to explore effective approaches to help preventing and treating mental disorder in firefighters.

Keywords: firefighter, mental health, depression, anxiety, influencing factors

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