Factors Influencing Experienced Distress and Attitude Toward Trauma by Emergency Medicine Practitioners
Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings
Authors explored whether the dose-response relationship evident in PTSD also applied to cases of vicarious trauma and, if so, which variables serve to moderate such reactions. This study examined the surveyed responses of emergency care workers in a group geographically near the September 11, 2001 New York terrorist site, comparing the results to a group of emergency care workers geographically distant from the terrorist site. Study results lend support to the presence of a dose-response relationship within vicarious traumatization. Specific variables associated with higher distress levels for practitioners included the discipline of the practitioner, treating an injured victim, and personally knowing a victim of the New York terrorist attacks. Past training related to vicarious traumatization was not associated with lower distress levels for practitioners. In addition, practitioners' awareness and interest in psychological issues related to trauma appear to have been enhanced by geographic proximity to the New York terrorist attacks.