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The mediating effects of sleep in the relationship between traumatic stress and health symptoms in urban police officers

The mediating effects of sleep in the relationship between traumatic stress and health symptoms in urban police officers

Psychosomatic Medicine 65(3): 485-489

Objective: Posttraumatic stress symptoms have been associated with increased health problems across numerous studies. Sleep disruption, one of the principal symptoms resulting from traumatic stress, has also been shown to produce health problems. This study explored the hypothesis that the relationship between posttraumatic stress symptoms and health is mediated by sleep problems. Method: A sample of 741 police officers were administered measures of traumatic stress symptoms, sleep, health functioning, and somatic symptoms. Results: Traumatic stress symptoms were significantly related to both somatic symptoms (R2=0.18, p<.001) and health functioning (R2=0.02, p<.01). The relationship between somatic symptoms and traumatic stress symptoms was partially mediated by sleep (p<.001). The relationship between traumatic stress symptoms and health functioning was fully mediated by sleep. Conclusions: Although design characteristics, such as cross-sectional sampling, limit the inferences that can be drawn, these findings suggest that sleep may serve as an important mediator between traumatic stress and somatic symptoms.

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Accession: 011524930

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 12764223

DOI: 10.1097/01.psy.0000041404.96597.38

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