PTSD symptom severity and impulsivity among firefighters: Associations with alcohol use. - GreenMedInfo Summary
PTSD symptom severity and impulsivity among firefighters: Associations with alcohol use.
Psychiatry Res. 2019 Jun 26 ;278:315-323. Epub 2019 Jun 26. PMID: 31276966
Brooke A Bartlett
Firefighters represent a unique population at high risk for trauma exposure, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and alcohol use. This study explored the main and interactive effects of PTSD symptom severity and impulsivity with regard to alcohol use severity. We hypothesized that higher levels of PTSD symptom severity and impulsivity would be related to greater alcohol use severity. Covariates included trauma load, depressive symptom severity, and romantic relationship status. The sample was comprised of 654 firefighters (Mage = 38.65, SD = 8.60) who endorsed exposure to potentially traumatic events and lifetime alcohol use. Firefighters completed an online questionnaire battery. A series of hierarchical regressions was conducted. PTSD symptom severity and impulsivity were significantly, incrementally associatedwith alcohol use severity, and a significant interactive effect was documented; firefighters with heightened PTSD symptom severity and impulsivity had the highest levels of alcohol use severity. This line of inquiry has great potential to inform prevention and intervention efforts for this vulnerable population. Clinical and research implications are discussed.