Glen Ellyn Resident, Professor Links 911 Dispatchers and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

A Northern Illinois University professor and Glen Ellyn resident publishes a study about the links between PTSD and dispatchers.

Every day 911 dispatchers pick up the phone expecting to hear the worst, but some might not expect that this line of work could put them at risk for developing symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder. 

Despite not being on the front lines of battle or on the scene of a car accident, a recent study published by a Glen Ellyn resident found that 911 dispatchers were at risk for developing PTSD symptoms.

Glen Ellyn resident and Northern Illinois University psychology professor Michelle Lilly published the study after a student detailed what life was like as a dispatcher.

The study analyzed the emotional responses of 171 dispatchers from 24 states and asked them to describe their worst call and the calls that caused the most distress. 

The study reports that the calls causing the most distress were the unexpected deaths of children, adults; suicide callers; and shootings involving police officers.

The subjects' severity of PTSD symptoms were reported to show a "moderate relationship," while 3.5 percent were found to have symptoms that would warrant a PTSD diagnosis.

For more on the study published in the Journal of Traumatic Stress, visit NIU's website by clicking here.  


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