UBC PARAMEDIC SCOPE STUDY (Stress & Coping across Occupational and Personal Environments)
Due to the unique nature and high demands of their work, paramedics regularly experience stress not common to the general population, such as death of a patient under their care, violence, and more generally, human suffering and tragedy. As a result, this population has been identified as high risk for post-traumatic stress and trauma-related symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and resulting health problems. This project aims to examine how paramedics cope with this unique stress both on and off the job (from a dyadic perspective, with their work partners and spouses, respectively). Daily diary methods have been used to collect information on daily indicators of stress, coping, and social support in a sample of Canadian paramedics and their spouses, where applicable. Data collection for this study has ended, and results are currently being analysed. For more information on this project, visit the following link: http://www.davidbking.net/scope/
Across North America, stepfamilies have become a typical family form. Stepfamilies have the potential to improve family functioning from that of a single parent home. However, this potential often goes unrealized. The divorce rate in stepfamilies is approximately 10% higher than in first-marriages and stress is often felt by all members of the family. This longitudinal study investigates the day-to-day stressors, coping mechanisms, and sources of support that affect the wellbeing of stepfamily members and the stability of stepfamily relationships. We have followed the stepfamilies in this study for more than 20 years and we have collected comprehensive data through numerous means (e.g., daily diary, interviews, and questionnaires). This rich source of data provides excellent opportunities for understanding the challenges faced by this increasingly prevalent family form and the barriers we need to overcome to foster the quality and stability of stepfamily relationship.
LIVING WITH SPINAL CORD INJURY STUDY
We are collaborating with Dr. Susan Cadell from the Department of Social Work at UBC in a study on adaptation to spinal cord injury. We have conducted face-to-face interviews and daily telephone interviews in order to examine individuals’ with SCI coping with stressful events, life goals, social support, spirituality and unanticipated benefits and how these factors relate to functional ability, pain levels and other psychological and physiological outcomes.
COPING AND SOCIAL SUPPORT IN RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS PROJECT
We have a series of studies investigating coping and social support in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). A major focus is on how spouses of people with RA impact their partners’ experiences with the disease.