Prevalence and correlates of subjective traumatic distress among Emergency Department Nurses in Lagos, Nigeria

  • Ayodele Olurotimi Coker Department of Behavioural Medicine,Lagos State University College of Medicine, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria.
  • Olayinka Olufunmilayo Coker Medical Department, University of Lagos Medical Centre, University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos, Nigeria
  • Tariela Oladipupo Department of Nursing, Lagos State University College of Medicine, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria
  • Foluke Adesope Department of Nursing, Lagos State University College of Medicine, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria
  • Omotayo Adedotun Alonge Department of Psychiatry, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria
Keywords: Lagos, Subjective distress, Emergency department, Hyperarousal


Background: The manifestations of subjective traumatic distress among emergency nurses in Nigeria have not been extensively studied.

Objective: To determine the prevalence and correlates of subjective traumatic distress among emergency department nurses in Lagos, Nigeria.

Methods: One hundred nurses working at the Emergency Department of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria, were surveyed for the impact of subjective traumatic distress using the Revised Impact of Event Scale. The sociodemographic characteristics and some work-related factors were also determined.

Results: Of the 100 participants, 60 (60%) met the criteria for the impact of subjective traumatic distress. The overall mean score of the participants for the IESR was 27.9 ± 6.7 with a range of 0 to 66. The most frequent symptoms of subjective trauma distress sub-scale included avoidance symptoms, (mean: 12.2± 9.1; range 0-28) intrusion symptoms (mean: 7.3 ± 3.8; range 0-20) and hyperarousal symptoms (mean: 5.3 ± 1.6; range 0-17). Female participants had higher exposures in the sub-scales of the IESR scores. The associations between sociodemographic parameters such as age, gender and marital status and the subscales of the IESR were not significant.

Conclusion: The study showed that more than half of the participants experienced subjective psychological traumatic distress. There is a need for hospital managers to provide psychological interventions regularly for emergency department nurses to prevent occurrence of psychopathologies such as burnout and posttraumatic stress disorders.

Author Biography

Ayodele Olurotimi Coker, Department of Behavioural Medicine,Lagos State University College of Medicine, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria.

Senior Lecturer/Consultant Psychiatrist


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Original Research