Police officer anxiety after occupational blood and body fluid exposure

K. Dunleavy, A. Taylor, J. Gow, B. Cullen, K. Roy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Background In the course of their work, police staff are at risk of exposure to blood and body fluids (BBF) and potentially at risk of acquiring a blood-borne viral infection. Aims To examine levels of anxiety among Scottish police staff following an occupational exposure to BBF. Methods Police staff who reported an incident of exposure to their occupational health (OH) provider were invited to complete a postal questionnaire about their levels of self-reported anxiety after the incident and after contact with medical services (namely, OH and accident and emergency (A&E)). Results Seventy exposed individuals (66% of those invited to take part) completed a questionnaire. Participants' self-reported anxiety after the incident varied widely. Levels of anxiety reduced over time and following contact with medical services. A&E staff were more likely to be the first point of medical contact for the most anxious individuals. Pre-incident training was not associated with post-incident anxiety. Conclusions The findings suggest that contact with medical services helps to alleviate post-exposure anxieties among police staff.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)382-384
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012


  • Accident and emergency
  • anxiety
  • blood
  • blood-borne virus
  • body fluids
  • occupational exposure
  • occupational health
  • police


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