Protective effect of paramedics’ sense of personal accomplishment at work: Mitigating the impact of stress on sleep


post-traumatic stress
personal accomplishment
psychological health

How to Cite

Kukowski C, King DB, DeLongis A. Protective effect of paramedics’ sense of personal accomplishment at work: Mitigating the impact of stress on sleep. Australasian Journal of Paramedicine [Internet]. 2016May1 [cited 2022Nov.30];13(2). Available from:



Paramedics are at high risk for the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), trauma-related symptoms, and burnout. Despite the multitude of research linking both PTSD and burnout with poor sleep quality, there has been no research linking all three variables, in emergency workers or otherwise. Given the importance of sleep in a profession that is largely reliant on shift work, the goal of the current study was to examine the moderating effect of burnout on the association between post-traumatic stress and average sleep quality. 


A sample of 87 paramedics from major urban centres across Canada completed the Maslach Burnout Inventory and the PTSD Checklist Civilian Version, in addition to reporting sleep quality for a period of one week. 


In support of our hypotheses, post-traumatic stress was associated with lower average sleep quality. Standard regression analyses further revealed that this effect was moderated by burnout, such that higher burnout exacerbated the effect of post-traumatic stress on sleep. In examination of the subscales of the MBI, this effect was maintained for personal accomplishment only, which interacted with stress so as to further impair quality of sleep.


These findings offer important considerations regarding the mitigating role of more positive workplace variables in paramedics suffering from post-traumatic stress, PTSD, and/or sleep problems. Interventions aimed at fostering a sense of personal accomplishment on the job may improve the health of emergency medical personnel via multiple pathways.


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