Post-traumatic stress disorder in health care professionals: symptoms, causes, prevention and treatment (a literature review)




traumatic stress disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, prevention, treatment, doctors, health care professionals


The aim of this work is to analyze the available scientific information and summarize the main results of modern research on the symptoms and causes, clinical consequences and methods of prevention and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder in medical staff.

Materials and methods. An analysis of published full-text articles from PubMed, Web of Science, APA PsychNet, Google Scholar, Scopus databases was performed to systematize data on symptoms and causes, clinical consequences and methods of prevention and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder in health care professionals. In addition, earlier publications of historical interest value were included in the analysis.

Results. The analysis of the main symptoms and factors of post-traumatic stress disorder of medical workers was carried out. The analysis found that 15–43 % of physicians suffered from depression, anxiety, and other symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Its occurrence in health professionals was associated with a number of risk factors, which can be divided into labor, social and psychological. The labor factors were of the greatest importance in the syndrome occurrence.

Despite the fact that there were a number of psychological and pharmacological care programs aimed at the prevention and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, none of them currently has evidence of its effectiveness. There are no clinical prediction methods that would identify health care workers at a high risk of post-traumatic stress disorder development. The risk of traumatic exposure was particularly pronounced among resident physicians, who usually lack training and practice compared with more experienced physicians.

Conclusions. A funding is needed for methodologically based researches and effective measures, developed on this ground, to eliminate post-traumatic stress disorder in health care professionals. If the prevention of post-traumatic stress disorder could not be addressed at the state level, it would jeopardize the stability of the entire health care system functioning.

Author Biographies

Ye. Ye. Timchenko, Danylo Halytsky Lviv National Medical University, Ukraine

MD, Assistant of the Department of Disaster Medicine and Military Medicine

O. V. Liubinets, Danylo Halytsky Lviv National Medical University, Ukraine

MD, PhD, DSc, Professor, Head of the Department of Public Health

P. V. Oliinyk, Danylo Halytsky Lviv National Medical University, Ukraine

PhD, DSc, Professor of the Department of Disaster Medicine and Military Medicine

V. V. Chaplyk, Danylo Halytsky Lviv National Medical University, Ukraine

MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Head of the Department of Disaster Medicine and Military Medicine

S. P. Oliinyk, Nobel-Ukraine Pharmaceutical Company, Kyiv, Ukraine

PhD, Advisor


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How to Cite

Timchenko YY, Liubinets OV, Oliinyk PV, Chaplyk VV, Oliinyk SP. Post-traumatic stress disorder in health care professionals: symptoms, causes, prevention and treatment (a literature review). Zaporozhye medical journal [Internet]. 2022May30 [cited 2024Apr.25];24(3):343-5. Available from: