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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

versão impressa ISSN 1413-8123versão On-line ISSN 1678-4561


BEZERRA, Cláudia de Magalhães; ASSIS, Simone Gonçalves de  e  CONSTANTINO, Patricia. Psychological distress and work stress in correctional officers: a literature review. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2016, vol.21, n.7, pp.2135-2146. ISSN 1678-4561.

This article presents a review of literature based on a survey of national and international journals on psychological distress and stress in the work of correctional officers between 2000 and 2014. The databases used were the Biblioteca Virtual em Saúde, Web of Science, and Scopus, and the descriptors were psychological distress, stress and correctional officers. We analyzed 40 articles, mainly about stress. The concept of burnout appeared in several works. The United States is the country that most publishes on the subject. There is little interest about the subject in the journals of Public Health. In Latin America we found only four studies, all Brazilian. The number of publications has gradually intensified over the years, and there was methodological improvement in the development and assessment scales, mainly regarding stress and burnout. Work overload, lack of material and human resources, level of contact with the inmates, overcrowding, perceptions of fear or danger, and the paradox of punish / reeducate were some of the risk factors encountered, among others. The protective factors refer to social support within the prison environment, and the coping strategies are related to the improvement of officer training, stimulating social support, and offering psychological care.

Palavras-chave : Stress; Psychological distress; Burnout; Work conditions; Correctional officers.

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