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Association of Traumatic Police Event Exposure With Sleep Quality and Quantity in the BCOPS Study Cohort
  • Published Date:
  • Source:
    Int J Emerg Ment Health. 15(4):255-265.
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  • Description:
    Police officers are exposed to traumatic and life-threatening events, which may lead to sleep problems. Prior studies of police officers have found them to have poor sleep quality and reduced sleep time. This study examined associations between traumatic events and sleep quality. Participants were 372 police officers from the Buffalo Cardio-metabolic Occupational Police Stress (BCOPS) Study. Police incidents were measured by the Police Incident Survey; sleep quality and quantity were derived from the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was used to examine mean PSQI scores across categories of traumatic event frequency. Models were adjusted for age, education and ethnicity and stratified by sex and workload. In men, significant associations were found for the 'shooting of another officer' and sleep quality (p-value = 0.024) and sleep disturbances (p-value = 0.022). In women, seeing more 'abused children' was associated with poorer sleep quality (p-value = 0.050); increasing frequency of 'seeing victims of a serious traffic accident' was associated with shorter sleep duration (p-value = 0.032). Increased frequency of 'seeing dead bodies' was associated with poorer sleep quality (p-value = 0.040) and shorter sleep duration (p-value = 0.048). Among women with a high workload, a significant inverse association was found between 'seeing serious traffic accident victims' and global sleep quality (p-value = 0.031). In conclusion, a significant inverse association between frequency of select traumatic events and sleep quality was found in male and female police officers. The significant events differed by sex. Future research could examine longitudinal associations between career-long traumatic event exposures and sleep quality and how these associations differ by sex.

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  • Funding:
    200-2003-01580/PHS HHS/United States
    CC999999/Intramural CDC HHS/United States
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