Impact of Work Related Trauma on Acute Stress Response in Train Drivers

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - rail, place - europe, organisation - workforce planning


train drivers, railway incidents, simulated work trauma, posttraumatic stress disorder, acute stress reactivity


This study investigated train drivers’ psycho-physiological reactivity and distress after exposure to a simulated traumatic railway incident. We used a computer-based methodology to expose 76 participants to a simulated incident and collected psycho- physiological data by monitoring heart rate and distress levels. Participants completed self-report measures: POMS-SV, PDI, IES-R and a resilience scale. Significant differences in heart rate reactivity and distress emerged between three groups of train drivers, based on repeated exposure and PTSD symptom levels. Previous posttraumatic symptoms and lack of protective factors were relevant variables that accounted for the differences between train drivers’ acute emotional reaction to simulated trauma.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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