Fostering healthcare providers' post-traumatic growth in disaster areas: proposed additional core competencies in trauma-impact management

Am J Med Sci. 2008 Aug;336(2):208-14. doi: 10.1097/MAJ.0b013e318180f5db.


Disaster planning has traditionally focused on the concrete needs of the impacted population. This article looks at the impact of direct and indirect trauma exposure as it affects healthcare providers responding to a region-wide natural disaster and discusses trauma management via the incorporation of self-care techniques. It also explores post-traumatic growth as a potential benefit arising from trauma exposure. We propose that preventative and post-traumatic interventions be added to disaster planning. We further propose that the governing bodies that oversee the training of healthcare providers add training in post-traumatic interventions, including training in and support of self-care interventions to prevent and/or mitigate the effects of secondary traumatic stress. We suggest that they also provide training in Mind-Body Medicine Skills, a promising intervention that addresses symptoms of secondary traumatic stress and promotes post-traumatic growth.

MeSH terms

  • Disaster Planning
  • Disasters*
  • Health Personnel / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Relief Work*