Secondary trauma and related concepts in psychologists: A systematic review

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Pellegrini, Seán
Moore, Philip
Murphy, Mike
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Taylor & Francis
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Secondary trauma, which is also often referred to as secondary traumatic stress, vicarious traumatization, and compassion fatigue are the negative consequences that occur when an individual hears about the traumatic experiences of another person. Certain professions who are exposed to hearing about traumatic experiences are at an increased risk of these difficulties. Psychologists are one such group, and the aim of the current systematic review was to investigate the prevalence of and variables associated with these concepts in psychologists. The following databases were searched as part of the review: PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES, Embase, MEDLINE, and Web of Science. Inclusion criteria required that psychologists were qualified and involved in therapeutic work. Eight articles were extracted for narrative synthesis. The articles indicated that psychologists are not typically meeting the clinical threshold for the various concepts of interest, although a single representative figure could not be determined for this cohort. Potential reasons for this are discussed. An exception to this finding was observed for psychologists working directly with trauma, as difficulties resulting from the concepts of interest were indicated within this cohort. A key finding was the paucity of research that exists on this topic. Limitations and implications of the findings are outlined.
Vicarious traumatization , Mental health , Compassion fatigue , Stress , Burnout , Professionals , Satisfaction , Prevalence , Therapists , Survivors
Pellegrini, S., Moore, P. and Murphy, M. (2022) 'Secondary Trauma and Related Concepts in Psychologists: A Systematic Review', Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, (22 pp). doi: 10.1080/10926771.2021.2019156