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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 105-111

Prevalence and predictors of depression, anxiety and stress symptoms in paramedics at Saudi Red Crescent Authority

1 College of Medicine, Majma'ah University, Al Majma'ah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
2 Family Medicine Department, Prince Mohammed Bin Abdulaziz Hospital, Ministry of Health, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
3 Saudi Red Crescent Authority, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Ibrahim Almutairi
Majma'ah University, P.O. Box 6020, Al Majma'ah, Riyadh 81442
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sjmms.sjmms_227_18

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Background: Emergency medical professionals often encounter situations when dealing with patients that can affect their mental health. In Saudi Arabia, there is paucity of data regarding the mental health of paramedics involved in prehospital care. Objectives: To determine the prevalence and predictors of stress, anxiety and depression symptoms among paramedics working at Saudi Red Crescent Authority (SRCA) stations in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Methods: This cross-sectional, questionnaire study included all paramedics working in the prehospital medical services of 21 SRCA stations in Riyadh (N = 300) between March and June 2017. Sociodemographic data were collected using a self-reporting questionnaire, and the Arabic version of the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale-21 was used to identify the states of stress, anxiety and depression. Bivariate analysis using chi-square test and multivariate logistic regression analysis were performed to determine the association between sociodemographic factors and mental health. Results: In total, 240 emergency medical professionals responded (response rate = 80%). Of these, 30.5% had stress, 40% had anxiety and 26.7% had depression. All cases of stress were of mild-to-moderate level, while 5.1% of the respondents had severe-to-extremely severe anxiety and 1.3% had severe depression; there were no cases of extremely severe depression. Number of mission calls was identified as a predictor for stress and anxiety; intake of medications for noncommunicable diseases as a predictor for stress and depression; hours of sleep/day for anxiety and depression and use of stimulant beverages other than tea, coffee and energy drinks as predictors for anxiety. Conclusion: This study demonstrates that stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms are relatively common in paramedics working at SRCA stations in Riyadh. The authors suggest that the above-mentioned predictors should be monitored in paramedics and interventions should be made when necessary.

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