This study examines the use of the Patient Health Questionnaire-15 (PHQ-15) as a screening tool for wellness in law enforcement officers.
This study using the Patient Health Questionnaire-15 (PHQ-15) to screen for wellness among law enforcement officers identified strong and significant associations between the PHQ-15 in the expected directions with all five wellness measures. Significant associations indicate that the PHQ-15, when used as a self-administered screening tool, will increase awareness of physical and mental symptoms in officers that might otherwise go unnoticed. Law enforcement officers globally face unique stressors and heightened morbidity compared to the general population. This study emerged as part of an initiative to provide data needed to design policies and programs that address the stressors faced by law enforcement officers and to investigate how these factors may affect officer performance. As part of this initiative, a nationally representative cohort of officers (n = 2,867, mean age 41) answered questions regarding their physical and mental health. Measurements at one time point included the PHQ-15 to query somatic symptoms and additional wellness measures assessing sleep and exhaustion, stress, mental health, and suicidality. (Published Abstract Provided)