Learning Objective 1: ... examine the level of stress experienced by the parents of the 343 New York City Firefighters who perished in the World Trade Center Disaster.
Learning Objective 2: ... assess the relationship between stress and stress related health problems among the parents of the Firefighters who perished in the World Trade Center Disaster.
The parents of the Firefighters who perished in the World Trade Center Disaster have spent years dealing with the impact this stressful life event has had on themselves and on their families. This study had three purposes: to examine the perceived level of stress experienced by the parents of the firefighters who died in the World Trade Center Disaster (WTCD); to examine the prevalence of stress related health problems; and to examine the relationship between the perceived level of stress and stress-related health problems experienced by these parents.
Perceived levels of family stress were measured with the Family Inventory of Life and Changes (FILE, 1991), stress related health problems were measured using the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Health Related Quality of Life-14 (CDC HRQOL-14) survey tool, and the Demographic Information Data Sheet (DIDS) provided self-identifiable demographic information. The results of these tools were correlated to examine relationships between the proposed variables.
The majority of participants identified with a moderate level of stress. An overwhelmingly number of participants rated their general health as good. The participants between the ages of 66-75 years of age had significant difference in the amount of poor mental health days out of the previous 30. Furthermore, when the days the participants self-identified as not getting enough sleep from the CDC HRQOL-14 was correlated to the total sum score on the FILE the results revealed another significant difference. Female participants in the sample group overwhelmingly identified higher stress scores on the FILE, more unhealthy days and more health related problems and impairments.
The findings that the trauma of WTCD, and the loss of a family member in the attack, seems to continue to impact the lives of this group ten years after the WTCD, and in many cases remains as acute today as it was then.