Prevalence and factors associated with post traumatic stress disorder among field police patrol officers serving in Kampala metropolitan region
Rogers, Agenda Isabirye
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Background: Occupation groups like police officers and fire fighters are exposed to a number of traumatic events which put them at a risk of developing PTSD. Previous studies have found the prevalence of PTSD in police officers to vary between 7% and 19 %. However, most of these studies have been undertaken in western setting with little research having been undertaken in sub-Saharan Africa including Uganda. Objective: To determine the prevalence and factors associated with post-traumatic stress disorder among field police patrol officers serving in Kampala Metropolitan Police (KMP) North Region. Methods: This was a cross sectional study that was conducted on 392 field police patrol officers serving in KMP North Region. Diagnosis of PTSD was undertaken using the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale for DSM-5 (CAPS-5). Other psychiatric comorbidities were assessed using the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (M.I.N.I). Data was entered using Epi data and analyzed using STATA version 14 with the help of a medical statistician. Results: In this study, the prevalence of PTSD was 7.4% with an addition 62.5% having sub-threshold PTSD symptoms (having PTSD symptoms that do not meet PTSD full criteria). The factors found to be significantly associated with PTSD were all related to the presence of psychiatric comorbidities, namely the presence of: a current major depressive episode (aOR=4.7; 95% CI: 1.5- 14.8; p=0.009); an alcohol use disorder (aOR=5.1; 95% CI: 2.0-13.0; p=0.001); and presence of dissociation symptoms (aOR=6.7; 95% CI: 2.0-22.2; p=0.002). Conclusion: PTSD is one of the common psychiatric disorders experienced by serving police officers in Uganda. The tendency of PTSD in this group to co-occur with other psychiatric disorders means that any treatment program to address it should be part of a comprehensive multi-disorder mental health treatment programme in the police office.