Original Research

Post-traumatic stress disorder among the staff of a mental health hospital: Prevalence and risk factors

Anthony A. Olashore, Oluyemi O. Akanni, Keneilwe Molebatsi, John A. Ogunjumo
South African Journal of Psychiatry | Vol 24 | a1222 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajpsychiatry.v24i0.1222 | © 2018 Anthony A. Olashore | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 March 2018 | Published: 30 August 2018

About the author(s)

Anthony A. Olashore, Department of Psychiatry, University of Botswana, Botswana
Oluyemi O. Akanni, Clinical Sevices, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Benin, Nigeria
Keneilwe Molebatsi, Department of Psychiatry, University of Botswana, Botswana
John A. Ogunjumo, Department of Family Medicine, University of Botswana, Botswana


Background: Mental health service providers are frequently exposed to stress and violence in the line of duty. There is a dearth of data concerning the psychological sequelae of the frequent exposure to stress and violence, especially among those who work in resource-limited countries such as Botswana.

Aim: To determine the prevalence and predictors of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among mental health workers in a tertiary mental health institute in Botswana.

Setting: The study was conducted in Sbrana Psychiatric Hospital, which is the only referral psychiatric hospital in Botswana.

Methods: The study used a descriptive cross-sectional design. A total of 201 mental health workers completed a researcher-designed psycho-socio-demographic questionnaire, which included one neuroticism item of the Big Five Inventory, and a PTSD Checklist-Civilian Version (PCL-C), which was used to assess symptoms of PTSD.

Results: Majority of the study participants were general nurses (n = 121, 60.5%) and females (n = 122, 60.7%). Thirty-seven (18.4%) of the participants met the criteria for PTSD. Exposure to violence in the past 12 months (AOR = 3.26; 95% CI: 1.49–7.16) and high neuroticism score (AOR = 2.72; 95% CI: 1.19–6.24) were significantly associated with the diagnosis of PTSD among the participants.

Conclusion: Post-traumatic stress disorder could result from stressful events encountered in the course of managing patients in mental health institutes and departments. Pre-placement personality evaluation of health workers to be assigned to work in psychiatric units and post-incident trauma counselling of those exposed to violence may be beneficial in reducing the occurrence of PTSD in mental hospital health care workers.


Botswana; Hospital; Mental health worker; Post-traumatic stress disorder


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Crossref Citations

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