Acute Stress Disorder, Symptoms Severity and Satisfaction with Treatment in Dengue Fever Patients in Relation to Empathy and Altruism in Paramedic Staff

Author:Sidra Wahid 

Supervisor:Prof. Dr. Rukhsana Kausar



University: Institute of Applied Psychology, Punjab University, Lahore, Pakistan


The aim of the current research was to examine treatment outcome of dengue in relation to empathy and altruism in paramedic staff engaged in the management of dengue fever patients in public sector hospitals. The sample comprised of 70 dengue fever patients and 30 paramedics. The sample was selected from three major teaching public sector hospitals in Lahore. Acute Stress Disorder Scale (ASDS), self designed questionnaire for treatment satisfaction and Dengue Fever symptoms rating (developed after the WHO symptoms indication of dengue fever) were used to assess the treatment outcome. Empathy Quotient (EQ) and Helping Behavior (HB) scale were used to assess empathy and altruism in paramedical staff. The data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. One third of the patients were experiencing acute stress disorder symptoms (72%). Paramedic staff from different hospitals differed in empathy and altruism. There was significant positive relationship between empathy and altruism in paramedic staff. Significant positive relationship was found between acute stress symptoms and current symptom severity of dengue. No significant relationship was revealed between empathy and altruism in paramedics and treatment outcome. However, qualitative data revealed that significant numbers of the patients were satisfied with the treatment as well as the service provided by the paramedic staff but patients felt the need for improvement in terms of increase in number beds for dengue patients; better medical facilities, financial assistance, increased number of staff, and reduced duty hours for the staff. Findings highlight the importance of paramedic staff in provision of quality care to patients. Findings also highlight the need for provision of psychological interventions to deal with dengue fever patients’ stress.

Keywords:acute stress, satisfaction with treatment in dengue patients, empathy, altruism.

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Corresponding Address: Department of Applied Psychology, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan. Email:, Phone: 92-42-9231245

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