Secondary traumatic stress among mental health providers working with the military: Prevalence and its work- and exposure-related correlates

Roman Cieslak, Valerie Anderson, Judith Bock, Bret A. Moore, Alan L. Peterson, Charles C. Benight

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

Our research assessed the prevalence of secondary traumatic stress (STS) among mental health providers working with military patients. We also investigated personal, work-related, and exposure-related correlates of STS. Finally, using meta-analysis, the mean level of STS symptoms in this population was compared with the mean level of these symptoms in other groups. Participants (N = 224) completed measures of indirect exposure to trauma (i.e., diversity, volume, frequency, ratio), appraisal of secondary exposure impact, direct exposure to trauma, STS, and work characteristics. The prevalence of STS was 19.2%. Personal history of trauma, complaints about having too many patients, and more negative appraisals of the impact caused by an indirect exposure to trauma were associated with higher frequency of STS symptoms. A meta-analysis showed that the severity of intrusion, avoidance, and arousal symptoms of STS was similar across various groups of professionals indirectly exposed to trauma (e.g., mental health providers, rescue workers, social workers).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)917-925
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Volume201
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2013

Keywords

  • Indirect exposure to trauma
  • Mental health providers
  • Military trauma
  • Secondary traumatic stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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