Psychological Correlates of Distress in Rescue 1122 Workers and Consumers’ Perception Regarding Rescue 1122 Services

Author: Sahrish Ahmad

Supervisor: Rukhsana Kausar, PhD & Tehreem Arshad

Degree: MS

Year: 2011-2013

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


The present research aimed to explore the psychological correlates of distress in Rescue 1122 workers, and consumer’s perception regarding this service. Therefore, mixed research design was used that is both quantitative and qualitative modes of inquiry were employed. In study 1 (quantitative paradigm), it was hypothesized that there would be a relationship between emotional empathy, coping strategies, compassion fatigue arid psychological distress. In addition to the above, it was hypothesized that emotional empathy, coping strategies and compassion fatigue would predict psychological distress in Rescue 1122. By employing purposive sampling, 150 participants were selected from four Rescue 1122 stations in Lahore. Emotional Empathy Scale (Ashraf, 2004), Coping Strategies Questionnaire (Kausar & Munir, 2004), Compassion Fatigue Short Form (Adam, Figley & Boscarino, 2006) and Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scales (DASS: P. F. Lovibond & Lovibond, 1993) were used for assessment of the variables. More than one-third of the participants were found to be suffering from compassion fatigue and psychological distress. Exposure to traumatic events before joining service, high level of perceived support from workmates, low tendency to be moved by other people emotional experiences and use of avoidant focused coping were found to predict depression, anxiety and stress. Less utilization of active focused coping was also found to be a predictor of anxiety while high level of burnout emerged as a predictor of stress. For study 2 (qualitative paradigm), five individuals, who had sought help from Rescue 1122, were recruited through snowball sampling. An interview schedule devised by the researcher was employed to conduct the interviews for collecting data. Thematic analysis revealed that people held Rescue 1122 workers as professional, empathetic, dedicated and calm. In addition, Rescue 1122 was stated by the participants to have better infrastructure in comparison to other emergency services present in Lahore. Overall, level of satisfaction with its performance was high. In addition, it highlighted that Rescue 1122 services and workers were held in high esteem by its consumers. However, participants felt that there is a need to improve response- time and expand its services. On the whole, the research highlighted the need for working on the psychological mental health of the Rescue 1122 workers as high proportion of participants were found to’ be experiencing psychological distress; and also a need for government to step up for the further development of this service was noted.

Keywords: Psychological Correlates,  Emotional Empathy,  Coping Strategies, Compassion Fatigue, Psychological Distress.

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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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