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Assessment of Aircrew Stress.
ARMY AEROMEDICAL RESEARCH LAB FORT RUCKER AL
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A questionnaire was developed and administered to 21 aircrew members of a medical evacuation unit. Respondents were asked about the causes of stress in their lives, coping skills, belief systems, and stress symptoms. Scores on 21 scales within these 4 categories were quantified and analyzed using correlations and regression analysis, to reveal problem areas, strengths, and interrelationships. A stress profile was generated for this unit, indicating strengths in the areas of relationship stability and relational rewards, but pointing to work changes and ongoing work pressures as significant stressors. Crewmembers use active, flexible problem-solving to their benefit in coping with stressors, but fail to seek support from others and often attempt to control the uncontrollable. Respondents are optimistic with a healthy self-esteem, but avoid expressing their own thoughts and feelings and believe they are powerless to impact their own lives. A symptom model was generated, illustrating the connection between a perceived lack of work rewards and physical and behavioral symptoms and the connection between harboring resentments and behavioral and emotional symptoms, for this unit. In addition, a pessimistic outlook was found to be related to physical symptoms and relationship pressures were related to emotional symptoms. Recommendations focused on how this information might be used by the unit command to guide efforts in minimizing unnecessary stress and optimizing crewmembers ability to cope. The study demonstrated the utility of this questionnaire for assessing unit-specific stress factors and guiding interventions.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE