Volume 27, Issue 5 (7-2020)                   RJMS 2020, 27(5): 22-35 | Back to browse issues page

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Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran , javadchangi@yahoo.com
Abstract:   (2673 Views)
Background: Accidents and emergencies associated with natural or human-made environment have been occurring on the earth in recent years. There should be precise and effective reactions against critical incidents and urgent conditions. Firefighters are the first group attending in the place where important urgent accidents occur in order to cope with such incidents. They are responsible for citizens’ safety and some functions such as firefighting, rescue people, preventive measures by evaluating risks against life and properties of people, and medical aids. On the other hand, accidents may negatively affect the people involved in the incidents as well as their quality of life and social relationships. World Health Organization (WHO) defines quality of life as individuals’ perception of their position in life in the context of the culture and value systems in which they live and in the relation to their goals, expectations, standards and concerns. Furthermore, rescue team may tackle with emotions, irritability and frustration in accidents associated with immediate rescue conditions. Irritability is defined as the tendency to respond to aggressive feelings, impulsivity, hostility, and failure behaviors in disagreement. Moreover, the concept of distress tolerance covers a multidimensional nature including tolerance, assessment and acceptance of emotional state, emotional regulation method, and influence of negative affections and their impact on dysfunction. Distress tolerance represents itself in two forms: first, the individual’s ability to tolerate negative emotions and second, behavioral presentations of tolerating unpleasant inner states caused by various stressors. A study was conducted on 643 firefighters in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan, 2006 and results indicated that 16.7-19.3% of rescue members experienced psychological diseases. A longitudinal study on rescuers attending in a warehouse explosion in residential area in Netherlands indicated an increase from 2.9% (6 months ago) to 5.3% (after the disaster) in number of rescuers who visited occupational physician because of psychological problems. These results are in line with previous findings indicating that exposure to disasters and catastrophes may cause health problems in rescuers so that they are at the risk of psychological problems. In addition, another relevant study proved that quality of life of people has effect on the inter-organizational relationships and professional tasks. Therefore, it is essential to examine quality of life, distress tolerance and irritability occurring in hard jobs, in particular firefighters who are at the risk of physical and mental harms. Hence, this study was conducted to investigate the quality of life, distress tolerance, and irritability among firefighters and comparing them with normal people.
Methods: This was a descriptive study and its statistical population comprised some of firefighters involved in Plasco Building Incident and normal adults working in different professions during 2017. Sample size included 116 firefighters who were involved in Plasco Building Incident and 101 normal people. Random Cluster Sampling method was used. Inclusion criteria were as follows: firefighter involved in Plasco Building Incident, normal adults working in other professions and interest in participation; exclusion criteria included absence of firefighters in Plasco incident, those normal people who were not firefighters and lack of interest in participation in research. Data collecting tools included Quality of Life Questionnaire (SF-12), Distress Tolerance Scale, and Irritability Questionnaire (RIQ), which were filled out by participants based on self-report method. The collected data were analyzed through SPSS22 Software using mean and standard deviation at descriptive statistics as well as independent t test and multivariate (MANOVA) at inferential statistics.
Results: MANOVA and independent t test were used to compare quality of life, distress tolerance and irritability among firefighters and normal individuals. Statistical presumptions of normal distribution of scores, homogeneity of variances and homogeneity of covariance matrixes were assessed before the abovementioned tests using Kolmogorov–Smirnov test, Levin Tests and Mbox test, respectively. These tests could be used due to unbiased assumptions. The Obtained results indicated no significant difference between quality of lives of firefighters and normal individuals; however, there was a significant difference between firefighters and normal individuals in terms of at least one of subscales of distress tolerance. Comparison between mean scores of groups indicated higher irritability among normal people relative to firefighters.
Conclusion: Physical and mental health is considered as a key factor for productivity and progress in any profession or job so it is essential to any cause threating this health. Quality of life, irritability and distress tolerance are some of important psychological variables that improve performance and productivity of individuals in many of professions such as firefighting, which highly makes the person at the risk of physical or mental harms. As the quality of life, irritability and distress tolerance are the most substantial psychological variables in hard jobs such as firefighting, firefighters need a high physical and mental capacity in coping with critical and dangerous situations, which may lead to any physical or psychological harm. In fact, the obtained results indicate that some of significant psychological factors such as quality of life, irritability and distress tolerance should be considered to identify and employ workers of hazardous jobs such as firefighting. Therefore, research findings of this study indicate the importance of the case so that these findings can be used as a scientific evidence to make preventive and professional programs regarding optimal psychological performance of firefighters. In the end, it should be said that the present study had some limitations, including the fact that this study is a descriptive study and it is not possible to draw conclusions about cause and effect. Another limitation of this study was that this study was conducted in connection with firefighters involved in the Plasco accident and adults working in other occupations in Tehran. Therefore, the possibility of generalizing the results is limited; Therefore, it is suggested that a similar study be conducted with the present study in other communities. In addition, it is suggested that future studies examine qualitative and causal comparisons of psychological factors such as quality of life, irritability, and distress tolerance between firefighters and other occupations. Also, considering the important role of quality of life, irritability and tolerance of anxiety in the psychological state of firefighters and, consequently, the quality of their performance in critical situations, further studies can be sessions on the effectiveness of treatments related to quality of life, irritability and Examine the tolerance of distress.
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Type of Study: Research | Subject: Clinical Psychiatry

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