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Reducing Secondary Distress in Violence Researchers: a Randomised Trial of the Effectiveness of Group Debriefings.

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02390778
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : March 18, 2015
Last Update Posted : March 20, 2015
Sponsor:
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Heidi Grundlingh, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Brief Summary:
The objectives of the study were: To (1) describe the epidemiology of emotional distress experienced by Ugandan violence researchers; to (2) assess the effectiveness of group debriefings in mitigating secondary distress; to (3) assess risk and protective factors. Eligible participants were 59 Ugandan researchers employed by the Good Schools Study (GSS, NCT01678846) to interview children and adults who experienced violence. Recruited participants were randomly assigned to group debriefings (intervention) or film viewing (control). The primary outcome was change in levels of emotional distress.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Emotional Distress Behavioral: Group Debriefing Behavioral: leisure activity (film showing) Not Applicable

Detailed Description:

Background: Secondary distress including emotional distress, vicarious trauma (VT) and secondary traumatic stress (STS) due to exposure to primary trauma victims have been described in helping professionals and in violence researchers. To our knowledge, there are few prevalence studies, and no tailored interventions have been tested to reduce secondary distress in violence researchers.

Objective: To (1) describe the epidemiology of emotional distress experienced by Ugandan violence researchers; to (2) assess the effectiveness of group debriefings in mitigating secondary distress; to (3) assess risk and protective factors.

Methods: An unblinded, individually randomised trial with parallel assignment was conducted. Eligible participants were 59 Ugandan researchers employed by the Good Schools Study (GSS, NCT01678846) to interview children and adults who experienced violence in the district of Luwero, Uganda. 53 researchers agreed to participate and were randomly allocated. The intervention group (n=26) participated in three group debriefings and the control group (n=27) participated in three leisure sessions (film viewing).The primary outcome was change in levels of emotional distress (SRQ-20); secondary outcomes were levels of VT and STS at end-line.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 53 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Reducing Secondary Distress in Violence Researchers: a Randomised Trial of the Effectiveness of Group Debriefings.
Study Start Date : June 2014
Actual Primary Completion Date : July 2014
Actual Study Completion Date : July 2014

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Debrief Group
The debrief group participated in 3 consecutive face-to-face group debriefing sessions lasting 1.5-2 hrs each. Each session started with a fun ice-breaker to create a relaxed atmosphere and group cohesion. Session 1 focused on encouraging group participation, discussing primary trauma encountered and emotional reactions to these stories. Session 2 connected current experiences with the group members' own trauma histories and life experiences. The last session focussed on societal and community responses to violence, and employing personal agency to find constructive ways to address violence in communities.
Behavioral: Group Debriefing
Group Debriefing involves story-telling, identifying emotional responses to these stories, psycho-education and practical information to normalize group member reactions to a distressing event.

Placebo Comparator: Control Group
The control group was assigned to a leisure activity (film showing), for every session of debriefing undergone by the intervention group. The films were chosen for their light-hearted uplifting content and presented as a fun and relaxing activity.
Behavioral: leisure activity (film showing)



Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Change from baseline Self-Report Questionnaire-20 (SRQ-20) score at 5 weeks [ Time Frame: 5 weeks ]
    The SRQ-20 is a 20 item measure which require simple 'yes' or 'no' responses and was designed as a screening tool for psychological symptoms/emotional distress. It has been widely used and validated in low and middle-income countries as a measure of mental health and wellbeing. The SRQ-20 was modelled as a continuous variable but also a binary variable were the top 33% of the overall distribution was deemed as having a 'high' score indicative of probable emotional distress, consistent with previous research.


Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Vicarious Trauma Scale (VTS) at 5 weeks [ Time Frame: 5 weeks ]
    The Vicarious Trauma Scale (VTS), an 8 item measure with a 7 point Likert-type scale, has recently been developed and shown to have good psychometric properties for use as a screening tool for vicarious trauma in low resource settings. It is the only publically available screening measure of VT.

  2. Impact of Events Scale-Revised (IES-R) at 5 weeks [ Time Frame: 5 weeks ]
    The Impact of Events Scale-Revised (IES-R)consists of 22 items with a 4 point Likert-type scale widely validated and used to screen for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It has been used by several studies to measure STS as the theoretical symptomology is similar.

  3. Professional Quality of Life Scale (ProQOL) at 5 weeks [ Time Frame: 5 weeks ]
    The Professional Quality of Life Scale (ProQOL) was developed to screen mental health and other professionals who may experience positive or negative impacts as they help others. Versions of the screening tool have good construct validity with over 200 published papers and it is widely used in research as a measure for STS and related constructs.



Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   Child, Adult, Older Adult
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Eligible participants were all 59 Ugandan researchers who had been employed by the GSS.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • none

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT02390778


Sponsors and Collaborators
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Investigators
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Principal Investigator: Heidi Grundlingh, MPH LSHTM
Publications automatically indexed to this study by ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier (NCT Number):
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Responsible Party: Heidi Grundlingh, Research Fellow, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02390778    
Other Study ID Numbers: LSHTM#8118
First Posted: March 18, 2015    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: March 20, 2015
Last Verified: March 2015
Keywords provided by Heidi Grundlingh, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine:
secondary traumatic stress
vicarious trauma
secondary distress
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Neoplastic Processes
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Pathologic Processes