Vicarious traumatization: concept analysis

J Forensic Nurs. 2011 Dec;7(4):203-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-3938.2011.01115.x.


There is growing knowledge of the effects of stress on professionals, including various negative symptoms that may mirror the biopsychosocial effects exhibited by the victims of trauma. Multiple concepts including burn out, compassion fatigue, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and secondary traumatic stress, are terms that have been incorrectly interchanged with the term vicarious traumatization (VT). Clarity of vicarious victimization and understanding contributing factors is imperative in order to facilitate future research and implement timely and effective interventions, as well as sculpt evidence based practice. This concept anaylsis, complete with a concept map, discusses VT; related terminology; symptomology; prevention and relevant interventions; and discusses opportunities for personal/professional growth for nurses and especially forensic nurses working with victims of violence.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Burnout, Professional / psychology*
  • Countertransference
  • Emergency Nursing / methods*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Humans
  • Nurse-Patient Relations*
  • Nursing Assessment / methods*
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology
  • Occupational Diseases / diagnosis
  • Occupational Diseases / psychology*
  • Occupational Health
  • Rape / diagnosis
  • Rape / psychology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Offenses / psychology*
  • Social Support
  • Terminology as Topic