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On-Duty Nonfatal Injury that Lead to Work Absences Among Police Officers and Level of Perceived Stress

West, Christine PhD, RN, COHN-S; Fekedulegn, Desta PhD; Andrew, Michael PhD; Burchfiel, Cecil M. PhD; Harlow, Siobán PhD; Bingham, C. Raymond PhD; McCullagh, Marjorie PhD, RN, PHCNS-BC, COHN-S, FAAN; Park, Sung Kyun ScD, MPH; Violanti, John PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: November 2017 - Volume 59 - Issue 11 - p 1084–1088
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001137
Original Articles

Objective: We examined prevalence, frequency, duration, and recency of injury leave and the association of duty-related injury with perceived stress in U.S. police officers.

Methods: This cross-sectional study contained 422 active duty police officers from a mid-sized urban police department. For each participating officer, work history records were used to assess on-duty injuries that lead to work absences. Linear regression analyses were used for analyses.

Results: Most participants had experienced at least one injury (62%), and among those injured, 67% experienced more than one duty-related injury. The average number of injuries per officer was three (range 1 to 12). There was a significant linear trend in mean perceived stress across injury count even after adjusting for age, rank, and sex (P = 0.025).

Conclusion: Findings suggest that work-related injury is common and repeated work-related injuries are psychologically distressing in U.S. police officers.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cincinnati, Ohio (Drs West, Fekedulegn, Andrew, Burchfiel); Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan (Drs Harlow, Park); Department of Health Behavior Health Education, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan (Dr Bingham); School of Nursing, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Michigan (Dr McCullagh); and Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health, School of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Buffalo, State University of New York, Buffalo, New York (Dr Violanti).

Address correspondence to: Christine West, PhD, RN, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2280 Lilongwe Place, Dulles, VA 20189 (

All the authors have no relationships/conditions/circumstances that present potential conflict of interest.

Copyright © 2017 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine