operational stress
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2022 ◽  
Niclas Wisén ◽  
Gerry Larsson ◽  
Mårten Risling ◽  
Ulf Arborelius

ABSTRACT Introduction Mental health issues from intense or prolonged stress are a common concern in regard to military deployment. Deployments can objectively vary in stress exposure, but it is the individuals’ perception of that stress that affects sustainability, mental health, and combat fitness, which calls for the need of a protocol to evaluate and maintain a current estimation of stress impact. So, how can we assess the impact of stressors during different phases of deployment? Materials and Methods We used three psychological self-rating forms, the PSS14—Perceived Stress Scale, SMBM—Shirom Melamed Burnout Measure, and KSQ—Karolinska Sleep Questionnaire, to measure the impact of stress before (T1), during (T2), and at homecoming (T3). We also wanted to see if T1 or T2 results could predict T3 results to be able to better prepare the homecoming program.The forms were handed out to Swedish soldiers deployed in Mali in 2017. The forms were collected as a way to assess the status of the mental health load at three timepoints based on the personnel function as a way to assess the current “psychological fitness level”. Results The results show that stress measured using PSS14 was high at homecoming. The same result was observed for SMBM. No measures from T1 or T2 could however predict the T3 results. Conclusions Taken together, we found that screening of all contingent staff is relatively easy and provides personnel with relevant data on mental health and stress at the current time. We also found that test results correlated between T1 and T2 but not with T3. This indicates that there might be different stressors that affect staff at different timepoints.

Felix Proessl ◽  
Maria C. Canino ◽  
Meaghan E. Beckner ◽  
William R. Conkright ◽  
Alice D. LaGoy ◽  

Simulated military operational stress (SMOS) provides a useful model to better understand resilience in humans as the stress associated with caloric restriction, sleep deficits, and fatiguing exertion degrades physical and cognitive performance. Habitual physical activity may confer resilience against these stressors by promoting favorable use-dependent neuroplasticity, but it is unclear how physical activity, resilience, and corticospinal excitability (CSE) relate during SMOS. PURPOSE: To examine associations between corticospinal excitability, physical activity, and physical performance during SMOS. METHODS: Fifty-three service members (age: 26±5yrs, 13 women) completed a five day and night intervention composed of familiarization, baseline, SMOS (two nights/days), and recovery days. During SMOS, participants performed rigorous physical and cognitive activities while receiving half of normal sleep (two 2h blocks) and caloric requirements. Lower and upper limb CSE were determined with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) stimulus-response curves. Self-reported resilience, physical activity, military-specific physical performance (TMT) and endocrine factors were compared in individuals with high (HIGH) and low CSE based on a median split of lower limb CSE at baseline. RESULTS: HIGH had greater physical activity and better TMT performance throughout SMOS. Both groups maintained physical performance despite substantial psychophysiological stress. Physical activity, resilience, and TMT performance were directly associated with lower limb CSE. CONCLUSION: Individual differences in physical activity coincide with lower (but not upper) limb CSE. Such use-dependent corticospinal excitability directly relates to resilience and physical performance during SMOS. Future studies may use non-invasive neuromodulation to clarify the interplay among CSE, physical activity, and resilience and improve physical and cognitive performance.

2021 ◽  
pp. 263380762110582
Marcella Siqueira Cassiano ◽  
Fatih Ozturk ◽  
Rosemary Ricciardelli

Prisons are poorly ventilated confined spaces with limited physical distancing opportunities, making an environment conducive to the spread of infectious diseases. Based on empirical research with correctional officer recruits in Canada, we analyze the reasons and sources of fear, and the measures that recruits adopt to counter their fear of contagion. Our study marks an advance in the correctional work literature, which, to date, has tended to view perceived contagion risks as a workplace challenge that can be overcome with occupational skill and experience. In contrast with the existing literature, we present fear and perceived contagion risk as an “operational stress injury” that affects all correctional officers; a structural occupational health and safety problem that needs redressing from the labor policy perspective.

2021 ◽  
Vol 901 (1) ◽  
pp. 012029
V N Zolotarev ◽  
S V Saprykin ◽  
I S Ivanov

Abstract In recent decades, the tendency of climate aridization has been increasing in the main agricultural regions. This has a negative impact on the productivity of agricultural crops. In this regard, an important task is to identify the most tolerant to changing conditions species and varieties of forage grasses with the most adaptive potential, the cultivation of which will make it possible to compensate for extreme manifestations of climatic changes. Awless rump (Bromus inermis Leyss) is one of the most widespread and long-term forage perennial grasses that grow in almost all areas where grasses are possible. This crop can be used in fodder production for hay and pasture use, as well as hay and bulky canned fodder. However, the forage productivity of awnless rump has increased insignificantly over the past 50 years, which is explained by insufficient selection. Traditionally, the breeding and evaluation of new varieties of rump was previously carried out in its single-species crops. To increase the efficiency of the economic use of herbs, it is necessary to reorient breeding programs to develop new highly productive varieties with increased resistance to a complex of factors of biotic, abiotic and operational stress. Phytocenotic breeding is an important aspect of the biogeocenotic approach to the breeding of awnless rump. Creation of a new starting material of rump, with increased phytocenotic plasticity, will significantly increase the productivity of grass mixtures based on this culture. As a result of selection work, samples with high complementarity were obtained in grass mixtures with alfalfa varia (Martyn) Arcang.)

2021 ◽  
pp. 1-13
Denise C. Cooper ◽  
Marjorie S. Campbell ◽  
Margaret Baisley ◽  
Christina L. Hein ◽  
Tim Hoyt

2021 ◽  
Alice D LaGoy ◽  
J David Cashmere ◽  
Meaghan E Beckner ◽  
Shawn R Eagle ◽  
Aaron M Sinnott ◽  

Abstract Study Objectives Within-subject stability of certain sleep features across multiple nights is thought to reflect the trait-like behavior of sleep. However, to be considered a trait, a parameter must be both stable and robust. Here, we examined the stability (i.e., across the same sleep opportunity periods) and robustness (i.e., across sleep opportunity periods that varied in duration and timing) of different sleep parameters. Methods Sixty-eight military personnel (14 W) spent 5 nights in the sleep laboratory during a simulated military operational stress protocol. After an adaptation night, participants had an 8-hour sleep opportunity (23:00–07:00) followed by 2 consecutive nights of sleep restriction and disruption which included two 2-hour sleep opportunities (01:00–03:00; 05:00–07:00) and, lastly, another 8-hour sleep opportunity (23:00–07:00). Intra-class correlation coefficients were calculated to examine differences in stability and robustness across different sleep parameters. Results Sleep architecture parameters were less stable and robust than absolute and relative spectral activity parameters. Further, relative spectral activity parameters were less robust than absolute spectral activity. Absolute alpha and sigma activity demonstrated the highest levels of stability that were also robust across sleep opportunities of varying duration and timing. Conclusions Stability and robustness varied across different sleep parameters, but absolute NREM alpha and sigma activity demonstrated robust trait-like behavior across variable sleep opportunities. Reduced stability of other sleep architecture and spectral parameters during shorter sleep episodes as well as across different sleep opportunities has important implications for study design and interpretation.

2021 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Andrea M. Stelnicki ◽  
Laleh Jamshidi ◽  
Amber J. Fletcher ◽  
R. Nicholas Carleton

Public safety personnel (PSP; e.g., communications officials, corrections workers, firefighters, paramedics, and police officers) are at risk of developing mental health problems due to experiencing potentially psychologically traumatic events during their career. Research examining evidence-based treatments for psychological injuries resulting from operational duties (also known as operational stress injuries) has not yielded robust results that would indicate ongoing interventions as the best solution for managing PSP mental health injuries; as such, proactive psychological interventions designed to bolster resilience are being considered potentially beneficial for mitigating the impact of occupational stress on PSP. Despite the growing popularity of resilience programs, most are delivered in a single session after an event deemed particularly problematic with no follow-up. Longer interventions may better support sustained resiliency, mitigate the impact of operational stress, and increase positive PSP workplace outcomes. The current article introduces the Before Operational Stress (BOS) program, which was designed for delivery early in a PSP career to enhance self-awareness and healthy relationships. The year-long program is derived from cognitive behavior therapy and group therapeutic techniques to meet program objectives. The current BOS program evaluation demonstrated small, statistically significant improvements in symptoms of PTSD, quality of life, stigma, and perceived social support from baseline (Time 1) to 6 months (Time 4). There were also non-significant improvements observed in symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress, alcohol use, as well as in emotional regulation and resilience. Qualitative results indicated participants positively perceived the BOS program, with participants reporting specific improvements in self-awareness, avoidant behaviors, and relationships with family and colleagues. The BOS program content (e.g., functional disconnection and functional reconnection) and processes (e.g., psychoeducation within a supportive learning structure; mutually empowering group interactions) appear unique relative to other PSP resilience programs, with promising initial results in support of PSP mental health. Recommendations for future research and program development are provided.

2021 ◽  
Vol Publish Ahead of Print ◽  
Sarah L. Martindale ◽  
Robert D. Shura ◽  
Marc A. Cooper ◽  
Sheila F. Womack ◽  
Robin A. Hurley ◽  

Meaghan E. Beckner ◽  
Luana Main ◽  
Jamie Tait ◽  
Brian J. Martin ◽  
William R. Conkright ◽  

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