The mutual cooperation was made to improve and develop systematic methods to evaluate fire officers’ physical and mental health. Led by the Ewha Brain Institute involving NEMA, the researchers will conduct a questionnaire to diagnose Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and provide practical medical checkups through brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), in-depth interview, thorough psychological test, basic blood test and Electrocardiogram. Ewha is the first university in Korea to use MRI in a research to analyze stress in relation to fire officers’ physical and emotional health.
Unlike the growing concerns regarding fire officers’ aftereffects caused by continuous exposure to life threatening conditions, insufficient professional and organized measures dealing with the matter are considered a problem. Ewha’s research plans to create an effective countermeasure that is different from the previous approaches, which only provided education about such illnesses.
Ewha Brain Institute, which opened on April 1, is the first and leading research center to discover the brain cortical changes in the Daegu Subway Fire survivors’ brains during several years of the stress recovery process. The institute plans to establish the cause of stress disorder and help invent methods of prevention and treatment by conducting the long-term repetitive follow-up studies.
“The cause of high job stress for firefighters is the frequent witnessing of horrendous sights,” Lee Kang-u, an official at NEMA said. “Through the research of changes in the brain and health index with Ewha, we hope to discover the root of the problem and seek for improvement in fire officers’ health.”
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