An exploration of burnout and secondary trauma reported by professionals and volunteers working with forced migrants.

Roberts, Fritha (2020) An exploration of burnout and secondary trauma reported by professionals and volunteers working with forced migrants. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

Due to increases in conflict worldwide, the number of forcibly displaced people, commonly termed refugees, has increased substantially. As a result of the potentially traumatic, lengthy and politically strenuous nature of seeking refuge and the atrocities this population may have experienced pre-flight, refugees often report adverse effects on their mental and psychosocial wellbeing. This is evidenced in the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety disorders reported by refugees, which were found to vary from 3-88%, 5-80% and 1-81% respectively. Evidence suggests that providing support to highly traumatised individuals, such as refugees, can also have psychological effects on workers. This includes reported experiences of compassion fatigue, such as burnout and secondary trauma.

This thesis portfolio explores the psychological impact of working with refugees in a supportive capacity, with a focus on burnout and secondary trauma. A systematic review is presented pooling the prevalence of high burnout (36.5%) and moderate to severe secondary trauma (45.7%) in those working with forcibly displaced people internationally, on a voluntary and professional basis. An empirical paper is presented focusing on the local context of refugee workers within the UK. Levels of burnout (13.7%), secondary trauma (54.3%), clinical anxiety (9.9%) and clinical depression (13.8%) were reported by a national sample of volunteers, volunteers typically being used in the support of refugees in the UK. Increased time spent volunteering was observed to be associated with higher levels of burnout and secondary trauma. Volunteers identifying as refugees were found to have higher levels of depression and secondary trauma than volunteers with no history of seeking refuge. Those with high supervision satisfaction reported significantly less secondary trauma, whereas no association was found between time spent in supervision and burnout; and a positive association was found between time spent in supervision and secondary trauma. These findings are discussed in relation to the current research literature and potential clinical application.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2020 13:32
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2020 13:32
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/77641
DOI:

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