A prospective assessment of PTSD symptoms using analogue trauma training with nursing students

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© 2019 Canadian Psychological Association. Exposure to potentially traumatic workplace events is a routine component of the nursing profession, resulting in high rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) relative to the general population. Difficulties in implementing prospective empirical research have limited the understanding of nurses' risk and resilience to PTSD; however, novel research with analogue stressors has generated useful methodology for studying risk and resilience variables associated with PTSD. The present study was designed to assess risk and resilience to PTSD in nurses using a high-fidelity trauma analogue simulation. Undergraduate nursing students (n=13) from the University of Regina participated in an immersive trauma triage training simulation. Self-report measures of risk, resilience, and trauma symptoms were completed prior to participation and 1 and 5 weeks postsimulation. Participants also reported on their subjective experiences with the analogue trauma immediately following participation. Participants described the trauma analogue as anxiety- or fear-provoking, supporting the ecological validity of trauma simulation effectiveness. Statistical analyses were limited due to low sample size, although risk variables showed theoretically valid relationships with pretrauma variables of interest. Trauma analogue simulations appear to provide an effective model for generating and understanding subclinical responses to trauma. Further research is necessary to implement such methods using sufficient samples for statistical analysis.

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Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science

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