The mediating role of cognitive processing in the relationship between social support and secondary traumatic stress symptoms in healthcare professionals
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Uniwersytet Opolski
Uniwersytet Łódzki, Instytut Psychologii
Państwowa Wyższa Szkoła Zawodowa w Głogowie
Paulina Michalska   

Uniwersytet Łódzki, Instytut Psychologii
Submission date: 2022-03-04
Final revision date: 2022-09-08
Acceptance date: 2022-10-04
Online publication date: 2023-03-26
Publication date: 2023-03-22
Arch Psych Psych 2023;25(1):54–62
Aim of the study:
The aim of this study was to establish how cognitive processing of trauma may mediate the interaction between social support and secondary traumatic stress (STS) symptoms in healthcare professionals.

Subject or material and methods:
We collected data from 419 Polish paramedics and nurses. The age of study participants ranged from 19 to 65 years (M = 39.60, SD = 11.03). We used a custom-developed survey and the Secondary Traumatic Stress Inventory, Social Support Scale and Cognitive Processing of Trauma Scale. Pearson’s correlation coefficients were applied to analyze the relationships between variables. A mediation analysis was used to check a mediating role of cognitive trauma processing.

The results showed significant links between STS symptoms and social support, as well as cognitive processing of trauma.

Cognitive coping strategies, play the intermediary role in the relationship between social support and STS symptoms, however, this role varies depending on the source of support and preferred cognitive coping strategies.

Paramedics and nurses have higher risk in developing STS. Our findings show that cognitive trauma processing and social support may play an important role in secondary traumatic stress symptoms. It is crucial to develop and implement programs for the prevention and treatment of STS symptoms, which would take into account the studied variables.