OBJECTIVE: The present study was designed to assess the frequency of trauma exposure, the prevalence rates of posttraumatic stress disorder, comorbid symptoms, and sense of coherence (SOC) in Swiss mountain guides.
METHOD: All mountain guides (n=1347) were surveyed using of the Posttraumatic Stress Diagnostic Scale (PDS), the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28), and the Sense of Coherence Self-Rating Scale (SOC-29).
RESULTS: Although Swiss mountain guides are exposed to many traumatic situations, the prevalence rate of PTSD is very low (2.7%), and their SOC total scores are high (157.9+/-18.4). Subgroups differentiated by the extent of traumatic stress symptoms differ significantly in SOC and GHQ total scores. Regression analysis showed SOC total score to be a significant predictor, although it only accounted for 1% of the variance in the number of PTSD symptoms endorsed.
CONCLUSION: The low prevalence rate of PTSD is not in line with findings in other high-risk populations for PTSD. SOC seems to be a marker for psychological health rather than a protective factor against PTSD.