1 Consultant Psychiatrist/ Azadi Teaching Hospital/ Kirkuk

2 Department of Surgery/ College of Medicine/ Kirkuk University


Background: Working in the mortuary, where there is human dissection, is emotionally painful. In Iraq, the condition is not good because of the nature of the mortality, the incidence and the gender factors; we analyse this, in the current paper. Patients and Methods: A Depression Anxiety Stress Scale 21(DASS 21) Arabic version Scale was performed on 20 staff working in the mortuary of Azadi Teaching Hospital in Kirkuk city-Iraq. There were 20 workers, the sex ratio for male: female was 14:6. The DASS 21 scale is a quantitative measure of distress along 3 axes of depression, anxiety and stress among otherwise normal population; it is not a categorical measure of clinical diagnoses. Results: The impact of dealing with dead bodies, victims of violence in the war area, seems to have affected both genders in general. The female gender, however, seems to have had the psychological state worse affected, and among the 3 categories, there was higher incidence of depression among the female gender. Conclusion: The health authorities need to monitor the mortuary staff psychological profile on regular basis and find means to reduce the incidence of depression, anxiety and stress, especially among the workers. The occupation is associated with psychological distress especially among female gender.