PTSD symptoms and suicide risk among firefighters: The moderating role of sleep disturbance. Academic Article uri icon


  • UNLABELLED: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms are prominent among firefighters and related to suicidal ideation and behavior, a major public health concern among first responders. The role of sleep disturbance in the associations between PTSD symptoms and suicide risk is not well understood. OBJECTIVE: The present study examined the moderating effect of global sleep disturbance and three disturbance facets (i.e., sleep efficiency, perceived sleep quality, and daily disturbances), on the association between PTSD symptom severity and suicide risk among firefighters. METHOD: The sample was comprised of 802 trauma-exposed firefighters (93.5% male; Mage = 38.68; SD = 8.53), recruited from a large urban fire department in the southern U.S., who completed an online survey. RESULTS: Results indicated significant main and interactive effects of PTSD symptom severity and global sleep disturbance (and each disturbance facet) with regard to global suicide risk. Covariates included gender, years in the fire service, trauma load, and occupational stress. Models accounted for 24.1%-28.4% of variance in suicide risk. CONCLUSION: This study is the first to concurrently examine these variables among firefighters, and this line of inquiry has the potential to inform evidence-based policy as well as prevention and treatment programs for this vulnerable, understudied population. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).

published proceedings

  • Psychol Trauma

author list (cited authors)

  • Healy, N. A., & Vujanovic, A. A.

citation count

  • 11

complete list of authors

  • Healy, Nathaniel A||Vujanovic, Anka A

publication date

  • October 2021