Korean J Psychosom Med.  2020 Jun;28(1):42-52. 10.22722/KJPM.2020.28.1.42.

The Relationship between Insomnia and Somatization According to Types of Work of Firefighters

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Chungbuk National University Hospital, Cheongju, Korea
  • 2Department of Medicine, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, Korea
  • 3Chungbuk Provincial Mental Health Center, Cheongju, Korea


:Firefighters are always under stress due to their job environment, and they are likely to become psychologically vulnerable due to continuous exposure to traumatic events, which is a stressful situation that requires emergency standby at all times. The aims of this study were to examine mental health factors for each division of firefighters and to see the relationship between sleep and somatization symptoms among them.
:General characteristics and related inspections were conducted through self-reporting questionnaires for 1,264 firefighters working at Chungbuk fire stations. Several mental health factors were investigated by the Insomnia Severity Index, Severity of somatic symptoms, Impact of Event Scale, Perceived Stress Scale, Resilience Scale, Alcohol Dependent Screening Scale, and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale Depression Scale and Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview.
:Among the mental health variables, the relationship between insomnia and somatization varies significantly depending on types of work. It was reported that the first aid team was significantly higher than the fire suppression and rescue team. Post-traumatic stress, depression and drinking also differ significantly depending on types of work. The first aid team reported more posttraumatic stress than the fire suppression team and more depressed mood than the rescue team. The administration part had more alcohol consumption than the fire suppression or first aid team. Resilience was significantly higher in the rescue team than the first aid team. No significant differences between the types of work about stress and suicide risks. Insomnia, stress, and post-traumatic stress were significant predictors of somatization among firefighters. Above all, insomnia was significant mental health variable affecting somatization.
:Various mental health factors were different according to the types of work in firefighters. The First aid team was more vulnerable to mental health variables such as insomnia and somatization than other divisions. Insomnia is the most important cause of somatization in firefighters, so it is recommended that they be treated for insomnia and to prepare institutional policies.


Firefighters; Somatization; Insomnia
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