Posttraumatic Stress and Burnout Symptoms in Forensic Doctors and Staff in a Mortuary

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Abstract

We aimed to investigate burnout and posttraumatic stress symptoms in mortuary staff members who work for the Council of Forensic Medicine where more than 4500 autopsies are annually performed.

The data were collected from 142 mortuary staff members from the Council of Forensic Medicine, Turkey. The participants were divided into the following 4 groups: forensic medicine specialists (n = 40, 28.2%), forensic medicine residents (n = 54, 38.0%), autopsy technicians (n = 24, 16.9%), and other staff members (n = 24, 16.9%). All of the participants completed a brief sociodemographic form and standardized questionnaires to assess health symptoms, such as the Maslach Burnout Inventory and Posttraumatic Symptom Screening Scale.

Forensic medicine staff members are at risk for developing psychological health symptoms, such as burnout or posttraumatic stress, due to work-related stressors. We observed that autopsy technicians seemed to have more emotional exhaustion and posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms, whereas resident doctors had a lower sense of personal accomplishment.

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