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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 35 (1993) 4

New research

A questionnaire for measuring the emotional impact of traumatic experiences of police-officers

I.V.E. Carlier, R.D. Lamberts, B.P.R. Gersons

This study focuses on occupational trauma in police work. A questionnaire was developed for inventarisation of the impact of traumatic incidents in police work. The questionnaire consisted of 37 different incidents. Next, the questionnaire was distributed among 132 Dutch police officers. Each police officer had to indicate on a five-point scale the degree in which they had experienced threat, anxiety and helplessness at each of the incidents. Results indicated that the highest emotional intensity was found in incidents entailing violence, dead children and powerlessness. The emotional vulnerability of regular police officers and some implications for training in coping with traumatic stress in law enforcement are discussed.