Mental Healthcare Needs in World Trade Center Responders: Results from a Large, Population-Based Health Monitoring Cohort
Adm Policy Ment Health
© 2019, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature. Nearly two decades after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC), the prevalence of mental disorders remains elevated among traditional (e.g., police) and non-traditional (e.g., construction workers) responders who were involved in the WTC rescue, recovery, and clean-up efforts. To date, however, scarce research has examined factors associated with perceived need for mental health care, which is critical to promoting engagement in mental health treatment in this population. Data were analyzed from 16,170 WTC responders, including 8881 police responders and 7289 non-traditional responders, who completed their first annual health monitoring visit with the WTC Health Program an average of 6.5 years after September 11, 2001. Predisposing, enabling, and need-based factors associated with perceived need for mental health care were examined using multivariable logistic regression analyses. Nearly half (48.7%) of non-traditional responders and a fifth (20.6%) of police responders reported a need for mental health care. The most common perceived needs were for psychotropic medication, individual psychotherapy, and stress management counseling. Predisposing (e.g., female gender) and need-based factors (e.g., WTC-related posttraumatic stress disorder) predicted perceived need for mental health care in both groups. Among non-traditional responders, Hispanic ethnicity and current suicidal ideation were additionally associated with this outcome. Non-traditional WTC responders are substantially more likely than police WTC responders to perceive a need for mental health treatment. Characterization of factors associated with perceived need for treatment can help inform population-based outreach and monitoring efforts designed to promote engagement in mental health treatment in WTC responders.
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School of Medicine
Occupational Medicine, Epidemiology and Prevention
General Internal Medicine