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Reducing Secondary Traumatic Stress and Fueling Knowledge of Child Maltreatment Among Healthcare Providers
*Katherine M. Gautreaux1, Cary M. Cain2, David E. Wesson2, *Bindi Naik-Mathuria2
1Texas Children's Hospital, Houston, TX; 2Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX

Background (issue): Child maltreatment is widespread in the U.S. and its victims are frequently treated by healthcare providers (HCP). However, HCPs across disciplines report that they feel ill-equipped to identify and treat child maltreatment1 and also report high levels of burnout and secondary traumatic stress (STS).2
Methods:In order to improve knowledge and promote provider resilience, a 9-hour educational intervention was conducted to provide information on the importance of self-care, child maltreatment recognition, coordination of care, perspectives from community partners, upstream approaches to prevention, and ways to get involved to reduce maltreatment. The intervention was hosted in-person and broadcasted to 2-satellite locations. Baseline and 6-months post-event questionnaires were conducted on knowledge related to child maltreatment recognition and reporting. Additionally, the Professional Quality of Life (ProQOL) instrument was used to measure compassion satisfaction, burnout, and STS. Statistical analyses were conducted to evaluate the impact of the intervention on participants' self-reported knowledge, compassion, burnout, and STS.
Findings:Findings show significantly improved HCP knowledge of child maltreatment recognition and reporting and significant decreases in secondary traumatic stress (Table 1). No significant changes were noted in compassion satisfaction or burnout.
Conclusions (implications for practice):
HCPs need organizational support for educational activities that improve their knowledge of child maltreatment and facilitate STS reduction. Future research initiatives should focus on measuring post activity behavioral changes in HCPs as well as patient outcomes.
Wilcoxon signed-rank test from pre- to 6-months post-intervention (n=84)
VariablePre-MedianPost-MedianZ-statisticp-value
Knowledge of child maltreatment recognition and reporting24.027.0-6.400<.001
Compassion satisfaction43.044.0-0.7510.453
Burnout18.017.0-1.8420.066
Secondary traumatic stress 20.017.5-2.1090.035


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