Prevalence and correlates of secondary traumatic stress in workplace lay trauma counselors

J Trauma Stress. 2002 Jun;15(3):213-22. doi: 10.1023/A:1015203327767.


Quantitative (N = 130) and qualitative (N = 30) data were collected to explore the experiences of nonprofessional trauma counselors in the workplace. Counselors, on average, did not experience symptoms of secondary traumatic stress (STS) requiring clinical intervention. Changes to cognitive schemata regarding counselors' world views were found to be present 6 weeks after their last trauma counseling incident. Counselors reported experiencing considerable role satisfaction. Factors related to the nature of the trauma counseling task and counselors' exposure to work and nonwork related trauma were not significantly associated with counselors' STS or role satisfaction scores. Program coordination, self-efficacy, stakeholder commitment, sense of coherence, and perceived social support were significantly related to counselors' experiences of STS and role satisfaction.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Burnout, Professional / epidemiology
  • Burnout, Professional / etiology*
  • Burnout, Professional / psychology*
  • Counseling*
  • Crime Victims / psychology
  • Empathy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Male
  • Occupational Health Services*
  • Prevalence
  • Self Efficacy
  • Social Support
  • South Africa / epidemiology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / etiology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workplace / psychology*