DOI: 10.3390/healthcare12060645 ISSN: 2227-9032

Mental Health Status of New Police Trainees before and during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Joungsue Kim, Jiyoung Yoon, Inah Kim, Jeehee Min
  • Health Information Management
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Policy
  • Leadership and Management

This study aimed to investigate the mental health of new police trainees during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in Korea. Two groups of police trainees were surveyed considering the distribution of gender, age, and education level: those who joined the school before COVID-19 and those who joined during the outbreak. Mental health indicators, including insomnia, depression, and anxiety, were compared between the two groups. The prevalence of insomnia, depression, and anxiety significantly varied in the group that joined during COVID-19 compared with the group that joined before. Specifically, insomnia showed a significant change in women, with a higher rate of 2.6%. Although the prevalence of depression was initially low, it increased from 0.4% to 1.3% during the pandemic. Anxiety rates also showed notable differences, particularly among women, with a higher rate of 4.7%. The highest differences in prevalence were observed in the low-income group, with a rate of 7.7% for anxiety. The findings highlight the vulnerability of police officers to psychosocial effects during disasters such as pandemics. Disaster preparedness programs or education can be integrated into new police officer training institutions to help manage mental health changes and promote overall well-being.

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