Research

PTSD affects multiple job types, women face "mobbing"

Researchers looking at cases of work-related post-traumatic stress disorder, in what were ‘low-risk’ occupations, have found that women often experience hostile behaviour and even ‘mobbing’ (bullying) when they return to work from maternity or sick leave.

"Mobbing (or bullying) is one of the most formidable psychosocial risk factors found in the workplace," researchers from the University of Pavia's Occupational Medicine Unit in Italy say. "It consists of repeated and prolonged psychological harassment, towards a worker, due to hostile actions usually carried out by a superior (vertical mobbing or bossing) or by a small group of colleagues (horizontal or transversal mobbing), exercised through aggressive, persecuting and detrimental behaviours... capable of provoking damage to individual psychophysical health," they say.

The Italian researchers examined the cases of five people with work-related PTSD who worked in occupations not usually associated with the condition. The article goes into detail examining what happened, and what should have happened. They say, for example, that in the "acute phase" following a traumatic event like a violent physical assault, it is crucial that the individual "regains emotional control, restores interpersonal communication and group identity, recuperates a sense of empowerment through participation in work, and strengthens hope and expectation of recovery". 
Read more: Stefano Candura, et al, Work-related post-traumatic stress disorder: report of five cases. [Abstract -free access – full article can be downloaded free] Industrial Health, online first July 2020, doi: 10.2486/indhealth.2020-0079. Source: OHSAlert

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