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      PSYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEMS AMONG AID WORKERS OPERATING IN DARFUR

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      Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal
      Scientific Journal Publishers Ltd

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          Abstract

          Aid workers operating in war zones are susceptible to mental health problems that could develop into stress and acute traumatic stress. This study examined the relationships between burnout, job satisfaction (compassion satisfaction), secondary traumatic stress (compassion fatigue), and distress in 53 Sudanese and international aid workers in Darfur (mean age = 31.6 years). Measures used were the Professional Quality of Life Questionnaire (ProQOL; Stamm, 2005), the Relief Worker Burnout Questionnaire (Ehrenreich, 2001), and the General Health Questionnaire (Goldberg & Williams, 1991). Results showed that burnout was positively related to general distress and secondary traumatic stress, and negatively related to compassion satisfaction. Sudanese aid workers reported higher burnout and secondary traumatic stress than did international workers. Results are discussed in light of previous findings. It was concluded that certain conditions might increase aid workers' psychological suffering and relief organizations need to create positive work climates through equipping aid workers with adequate training, cultural orientation, and psychological support services.

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          Compassion fatigue and psychological distress among social workers: a validation study.

          Few studies have focused on caring professionals and their emotional exhaustion from working with traumatized clients, referred to as compassion fatigue (CF). The present study had 2 goals: (a) to assess the psychometric properties of a CF scale, and (b) to examine the scale's predictive validity in a multivariate model. The data came from a survey of social workers living in New York City following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Factor analyses indicated that the CF scale measured multiple dimensions. After overlapping items were eliminated, the scale measured 2 key underlying dimensions--secondary trauma and job burnout. In a multivariate model, these dimensions were related to psychological distress, even after other risk factors were controlled. The authors discuss the results in light of increasing the ability of professional caregivers to meet the emotional needs of their clients within a stressful environment without experiencing CF. 2006 APA, all rights reserved
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            Compassion fatigue, burnout, and compassion satisfaction among Colorado child protection workers.

            The goal of this study was to understand better the risk of compassion fatigue (the trauma suffered by the helping professional) and burnout (emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced sense of personal accomplishment), and the potential for compassion satisfaction (the fulfillment from helping others and positive collegial relationships) among Colorado county child protection staff using the Compassion Satisfaction/Fatigue Self-Test [Figley, C. R., & Stamm, B. H. (1996). Psychometric review of Compassion Fatigue Self-Test. In B. H. Stamm (Ed.), Measurement of stress, trauma, and adaptation (pp. 127-130). Lutherville, MD: Sidran Press]. An additional goal was to test the relationship of these three constructs to each other. A self-report instrument developed by Stamm and Figley was used to measure the risk of compassion fatigue and burnout and the potential for compassion satisfaction among 363 child protection staff participating in a secondary trauma training seminar. Participants were significantly more likely to have high risk of compassion fatigue, extremely low risk of burnout, and good potential for compassion satisfaction. Participants with high compassion satisfaction had lower levels of compassion fatigue (p=.000; mean=35.73 high compassion satisfaction group, mean=43.56 low group) and lower levels of burnout (p=.000; mean=32.99 high compassion satisfaction group, mean=41.69 low group). Approximately 50% of Colorado county child protection staff suffered from "high" or "very high" levels of compassion fatigue. The risk of burnout was considerably lower. More than 70% of staff expressed a "high" or "good" potential for compassion satisfaction. We believe compassion satisfaction may help mitigate the effects of burnout.
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              The mental health of expatriate and Kosovar Albanian humanitarian aid workers.

              The mental health consequences of exposure to traumatic events and the risk factors for psychological morbidity among expatriate and Kosovar Albanian humanitarian aid workers have not been well studied. In June 2000, we used standardised screening tools to survey 285 (69.5%) of 410 expatriate aid workers and 325 (75.8%) of 429 Kosovar Albanian aid workers from 22 humanitarian organizations that were implementing health programmes in Kosovo. The mean number of trauma events experienced by expatriates was 2.8 (standard deviation: 2.7) and by Kosovar staff 3.2 (standard deviation: 2.8). Although only 1.1% of expatriate and 6.2% of Kosovar aid workers reported symptoms consistent with the diagnosis for post-traumatic stress disorder, 17.2% and 16.9%, respectively, reported symptoms satisfying the definition of depression. Regression analysis demonstrated that the number of trauma events experienced was significantly associated with depression for the two sets of workers. Organisational support services may be an important mediating factor and should be targeted at both groups.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal
                soc behav pers
                Scientific Journal Publishers Ltd
                0301-2212
                January 01 2008
                January 01 2008
                : 36
                : 3
                : 407-416
                Article
                10.2224/sbp.2008.36.3.407
                13762dc5-8118-48d6-a8be-9ab466fba465
                © 2008
                History

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