Trajectories of Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms among International Humanitarian Aid Workers

  • Despite increasingly dangerous work environments and heightened risks faced in the field, few studies have examined mental health outcomes, like PTSD, among international aid workers.
  • In populations where there are few individuals meeting PTSD case criteria, latent class growth analysis provides a way to differentiate between subgroups of individuals who have different response patterns from each other. This analysis can then provide valuable information on unique coping strategies and effective support interventions for discrete subgroups of individuals.
  • Having children and fewer organizational support services, were significantly associated with non-resilience. While previous mental illness was not statistically significant in this analysis, it has been shown elsewhere to be significantly associated with depression, so may also be important for organizations to consider when recruiting aid workers and designing programs.
Quote from the Disease Detective

“International aid workers often work in places where there is violence and human suffering, and witnessing these things can trigger post-traumatic stress symptoms. We identified potential risk factors that make it more likely that an aid worker may experience such symptoms, such as having children, having fewer organization support services, and having previous treatment for mental illness. Establishing these risk factors allows organizations to identify workers who may need additional support, as well as organizational actions that can help workers cope.”

-Blanche Greene Cramer, DrPH, MPH, EIS Class of 2016

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Blanche Greene Cramer, DrPH, MPH, EIS Class of 2016


Blanche Greene Cramer, DrPH, MPH, EIS Class of 2016
CDC’s Center for Global Health
Division of Global Health Protection

Education: DrPH: University of Texas, Health Science Center/Houston, 2015; MPH: Emory University, 2010; AB: Brown University, 2007

Work Experience: Postdoctoral Resident Fellow, Utah School of Public Health/Mike & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living, Austin, TX, 2015-Present; Graduate Resisent Assistant, It’s Time Texas, Utah School of Public Health – Austin, TX, 2014-2015; Graduate Research Assistant, Texas Child/Obesity (CORD), Utah School of Public Health, Austin, TX, 2012-2015; Data/Research Intern, Public Health Foundation of India, 2014-2014; Teaching Assistant, Research Design/Analysis II, Utah School of Public Health – Austin Regular Campus, Austin, TX, 2014- 2014; Project Coordinator, Project Healthy Start, United