Train Accidents: Development of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Train Drivers

Isabel da Conceição Lemos, Ivone Patrão


Aim: The objective of this study is to verify whether there is a correlation between PTSD, Depression, Life Events and Experiences of Dissociation Peritraumatic, and what is the effect of these variables on PTSD. Railway accidents are considered potentially traumatic events and one of the consequences is the development of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). There are few studies that focus on the association between train accidents and the development of PTSD on train drivers. Method: In total, 216 male train drivers with a mean age of 44.85 (SD = 5.70), completed the Portuguese versions of the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II), the List of Life Events – Clinician Administered (CAPS), the PTSD Checklist Civilian Version (PCL-C) and the Peritraumatic Dissociative Experiences Questionnaire (PDEQ). Results: A prevalence of PTSD symptoms in train drivers (8.3%) was revealed, as well as the existence of a significant correlation between PTSD and the main variables: Depression (r = .70, p < .001), Life Events (r = .25, p < .001) and Peritraumatic Dissociative Experiences (r = .63, p < .001), and also that variables BDI-II (β = .51, t = 9.60, p < .001) and PDEQ (β = .34, t = 6.24, p < .001) have a significant impact at the PCL-C (R² = .58). Conclusion: According to the results obtained and taking into account that 8.3% of train drivers present symptoms of PTSD, we consider important the existence of a reparative and preventive psychological support after the railway accident, in order to minimize the psychological impact on train drivers.


train accidents; post-traumatic stress disorder; train drivers