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      Burnout and Stress Measurement in Police Officers: Literature Review and a Study With the Operational Police Stress Questionnaire

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          Abstract

          Research has demonstrated that policing is a stressful occupation and that this stress has a negative impact on police officers’ mental and physical health, performance, and interactions with citizens. Mental health at the workplace has become a concern due to the costs of depression, anxiety, burnout, and even suicide, which is high among police officers. To ameliorate occupational health, it is therefore crucial to identify stress and burnout levels on a regular basis. However, the instruments frequently used to measure stress have not valorized the specificity of policing tasks. This study aims to: (i) conduct a literature review to identify questionnaires used to assess occupational stress and burnout among police officers; (ii) analyze the psychometric characteristics of a Portuguese version of Operational Police Stress Questionnaire (PSQ-Op); and, using the PSQ-Op and other questionnaires, (iii) to identify operational stress, burnout, and distress levels among Portuguese police officers. The literature review identified 108 studies which use a multiplicity of questionnaires to measure burnout or occupational stress among police officers, but few studies use specific police stress questionnaires. Sample sizes were mostly below 500 participants and studies were mainly developed in the last decade in the USA and Brazil, but also in another 24 countries, showing the extent of the interest in this topic. This study applied to 2057 police officers from the National Portuguese Police, a force policing urban centers, and used the PSQ-Op, as well the Spanish Burnout Inventory and the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale. The results show that the psychometric properties of the Portuguese version of PSQ-Op are adequate. Factorial analysis revealed two dimensions defined as social and work issues, which were associated with measures of distress and burnout. Fit indices suggested a second-order solution called operational police stress. Overall, and considering the scale range of each questionnaire, the results showed moderate values of operational stress, distress, and burnout. However, considering their cut-off points, 85% of the sample presented high operational stress levels, 11% critical values for burnout, and 28% high distress levels, with 55% of the sample at risk of a psychological disorder. These results reinforce the need to prevent stress and to invest in police officers’ occupational health.

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          Understanding the burnout experience: recent research and its implications for psychiatry.

          The experience of burnout has been the focus of much research during the past few decades. Measures have been developed, as have various theoretical models, and research studies from many countries have contributed to a better understanding of the causes and consequences of this occupationally-specific dysphoria. The majority of this work has focused on human service occupations, and particularly health care. Research on the burnout experience for psychiatrists mirrors much of the broader literature, in terms of both sources and outcomes of burnout. But it has also identified some of the unique stressors that mental health professionals face when they are dealing with especially difficult or violent clients. Current issues of particular relevance for psychiatry include the links between burnout and mental illness, the attempts to redefine burnout as simply exhaustion, and the relative dearth of evaluative research on potential interventions to treat and/or prevent burnout. Given that the treatment goal for burnout is usually to enable people to return to their job, and to be successful in their work, psychiatry could make an important contribution by identifying the treatment strategies that would be most effective in achieving that goal.
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            Interpreting scores on the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10)

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              Bootstrapping Goodness-of-Fit Measures in Structural Equation Models

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Front Psychol
                Front Psychol
                Front. Psychol.
                Frontiers in Psychology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                1664-1078
                07 May 2020
                2020
                : 11
                : 587
                Affiliations
                [1] 1Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences, University of Porto , Porto, Portugal
                [2] 2Psychology Unit of the Portuguese National Police , Lisbon, Portugal
                [3] 3Center for Health Technology and Services Research (CINTESIS), Department of Education and Psychology, University of Aveiro , Aveiro, Portugal
                [4] 4School of Health of the Polytechnic of Porto , Porto, Portugal
                [5] 5Department of Education and Psychology, University of Aveiro , Aveiro, Portugal
                Author notes

                Edited by: Konstantinos Papazoglou, Yale University School of Medicine, United States

                Reviewed by: Olivia Carlson-Johnson, Institute for Intergovernmental Research (IIR), United States; Brooke McQuerrey Tuttle, Oklahoma State University, United States; Alex Renee Thornton, Indiana University, United States

                *Correspondence: Cristina Queirós, cqueiros@ 123456fpce.up.pt

                This article was submitted to Organizational Psychology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Psychology

                Article
                10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00587
                7221164
                32457673
                95f46abc-46d5-4815-a758-92bba063afb4
                Copyright © 2020 Queirós, Passos, Bártolo, Marques, da Silva and Pereira.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                History
                : 04 January 2020
                : 12 March 2020
                Page count
                Figures: 6, Tables: 8, Equations: 0, References: 202, Pages: 23, Words: 0
                Categories
                Psychology
                Original Research

                Clinical Psychology & Psychiatry
                burnout,distress,operational stress,police officers,questionnaire validation

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