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A data-driven, implementation-focused, organizational change approach to addressing secondary traumatic stress

Ginny Sprang, Leslie Anne Ross, Brian Miller


The literature is replete with examples of the heavy toll that Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS) exacts among the workers who assist trauma survivors. The subsequent impact of STS on the workforce manifests in low morale, turnover, loss of productivity, job dissatisfaction and presenteeism. As organizations strive to become more trauma-informed, addressing the impact of traumatic stress on providers and first-responders becomes a critical component of best practice in a trauma-informed workplace. The implementation framework detailed in this paper serves to facilitate the development of organizational supports for workers in trauma-serving settings. The process begins with a data-based decision support measure (the STSI-OA) and is facilitated by the use of the STSI-OA Organizational Change Toolkit that includes a range of activities to address STS in the workplace and evaluates progress toward becoming STS-informed. Integration of the STSI-OA and the NIRN implementation framework into an evidence-informed toolkit provides a model for creating success in the implementation of STS prevention and intervention practices.


Adversity, coping, coping strategies, implementation, leadership, low morale, organizational change, person-centered healthcare, productivity loss, psychometric analysis, resilience, secondary traumatic stress, STSI-OA

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