Evaluation of the Severity of Vicarious Trauma among Students at the Kenya Medical Training College, Nairobi Campus, Kenya
Introduction: Vicarious traumatization is the negative transformative cumulative effect on the healthcare provider’s inner experiences for being exposed to the trauma material presented in the clinical sessions by the traumatized clients.1,2 The healthcare provider’s sense of self is disrupted and permanently altered as this transformative effect involves significant changes in one's sense of meaning, connection, identity, and world view, as well as in one's affect tolerance, psychological needs, beliefs about self and others, interpersonal relationships, and sensory memory, including imagery. 2
Objective: The objective of the study was to determine the prevalence rate of vicarious traumatization among medical students of the Kenya Medical Training College Nairobi Campus.
Setting: The study was carried out in Kenya Medical Training College Nairobi Campus which is a middle level medical college.
Design: This was a cross sectional descriptive study. The study variables included vicarious trauma as the dependent variable while the independent variables were age, gender, year of study, religion, duration of clinical experience, type of the training and vicarious trauma among others. A structured socio-demographic questionnaire and Trauma Attachment Belief Scale instruments were used to assess for vicarious traumatization.
Study Population and sampling method: Using systematic random sampling a sample population of 250 students was interviewed from among students of nursing, clinical medicine, and physiotherapy. Only the students who had worked in the clinical area were interviewed.
Results: Data was analyzed using SPSS version 20.0 and presented at 95% Confidence Interval. Out of the 250 study participants 51.6% (n=129) were male and 48.4% (n=121) were female. The mean age was 24.41 years with a standard deviation of 5.841. From the study, 2.0% of the participants had mild VT, 30.0% had moderate VT, while 68. % had severe VT. There was a positive correlation between VT and intrusive recollections of the trauma with a p- value of 0.017, and reliving the trauma (flash backs) with a p- value of 0.035.
Conclusion: VT prevalence is much higher and more severe especially among medical students that care for traumatized persons early in their medical carer.
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