The functioning of rescue workers in life tasks: Development of a test

A.H.M. Bakker, Marc van Veldhoven, A.W.K. Gaillard, Remy Hertoghs, Margot Feenstra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
39 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Purpose
Since policemen have a highly demanding job, they have a high risk of developing mental health problems, which may have a negative influence on their private life. The purpose of this paper is to present a new questionnaire for measuring the functioning of rescue workers in life tasks outside of work.

Design/methodology/approach
The internal consistency, factor structure and concurrent validity of this life tasks test (LTT) were examined in a group of 108 policemen.

Findings
The test measures perceived effectiveness in the following five domains: social life, maintaining mental health, household and finance, giving meaning and maintaining positivity. Cronbach’s α was acceptable for two scales (>0.60) and good for the other three (>0.70). The hypothesized five-factor structure of the LTT was corroborated in a confirmatory factor analysis. Concurrent validity was examined by correlating the scores on the LTT with two established questionnaires, one for personality characteristics and one for work characteristics and work stress. All LTT scales, with the exception of social life, showed significant correlations with social support, workload and personality.

Research limitations/implications
This provides support for the concurrent validity of the questionnaire. Practical uses and future research are discussed.

Practical implications
The items are close to everyday clinical practice. It adds valuable information to the commonly used questionnaires on mental health complaints. The test may also provide insight on which life tasks domains are functioning well and which are in need of attention to improve the effectiveness.

Social implications
In both preventive and curative mental health support, it is important to enhance the effectiveness in life tasks, because it works as a buffer for the adversity of rescue work. Moreover, it gives rescue workers mastery of their personal life, makes self-management stronger, as well as it gives feelings of confidence and positive energy.

Originality/value
This is the first questionnaire to be designed and implemented for rescue workers.Keywords
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-46
JournalInternational Journal of Emergency Services
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • CRITICAL INCIDENTS
  • IMPACT
  • Life tasks
  • MENTAL-HEALTH
  • Mental health
  • POLICE OFFICERS
  • POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS SYMPTOMS
  • Personality
  • Policemen
  • RISK
  • SELF-EFFICACY
  • SOCIAL SUPPORT
  • TRAUMA
  • WELL
  • Work stress

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