Journal of Traumatic Stress

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 221–227 | Cite as

Participation in Trauma Research: Is There Evidence of Harm?

  • Michael G. Griffin
  • Patricia A. Resick
  • Angela E. Waldrop
  • Mindy B. Mechanic
Article

Abstract

Few studies have examined the impact of trauma research participation upon trauma survivors. Empirical data regarding reactions to research participation would be very useful to address the question of whether it is harmful for trauma survivors to participate in trauma studies. We examined participant reactions to different trauma assessment procedures in domestic violence (N = 260), rape (N = 108), and physical assault (N = 62) samples. Results indicated that participation was very well tolerated by the vast majority of the trauma survivors. Participants generally found that the assessment experience was not distressing and was, in fact, viewed as an interesting and valuable experience. The findings suggest that trauma survivors are not too fragile to participate in trauma research even in the acute aftermath of a traumatic experience.

trauma research posttraumatic stress disorder domestic violence physical assault sexual assault participant reaction 

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References

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  26. Castor-Lewis, C. (1988). On doing research with adult incest survivors: Some initial thoughts and considerations. Women and Therapy, 7, 73-80.Google Scholar
  27. Draucker, C. B. (1999). The emotional impact of sexual violence research on participants. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, 13, 161-169.Google Scholar
  28. DuMont, J., Stermac, L. (1996). Research with women who have been sexually assaulted: Examining informed consent. Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, 5, 185-191.Google Scholar
  29. Dyrerov, K., Dyregrov, A., Raundalen, M. (2000). Refugee families' experience of research participation. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 13, 413-426.Google Scholar
  30. Greenberg, M. A., Stone, A. A. (1992). Emotional disclosure about traumas and its relation to health: Effects of previous disclosure and trauma severity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 63, 75-84.Google Scholar
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  32. Henderson, A. S., Jorm, A. F. (1990). Do mental health surveys disturb? Psychological Medicine, 20, 721-724.Google Scholar
  33. Jorm, A. F., Henderson, A. S., Scott, R., Mackinnon, A. J., Kerten, A. E., Christensen, H. (1994). Do mental health surveys disturb? Further evidence. Psychological Medicine, 24, 233-237.Google Scholar
  34. Newman, E., Walker, E. A., Gefland, A. (1999). Assessing the ethical costs and benefits of trauma focused research. General Hospital Psychiatry, 21, 187-196.Google Scholar
  35. Parslow, R. A., Jorm, A. F., O'Toole, B. I., Marshall, R. P., Grayson, D. A., (2000). Distress experienced by participants during an epidemiological survey of posttraumatic stress disorder. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 13, 465-471.Google Scholar
  36. Pennebaker, J. W., Susman, J. R. (1988). Disclosure of traumas and psychosomatic processes. Social Science and Medicine, 26, 327-332.Google Scholar
  37. Ruzek, J. I., Zatzick, D. F. (2000). Ethical considerations in research participation among acutely injured trauma survivors: An empirical investigation. General Hospital Psychiatry, 22, 27-36.Google Scholar
  38. Spitzer, R. L., Williams, J. B., Gibbon, M., First, M. B. (1992). History, rationale, and description of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-lll-R (SCID). Archives of General Psychiatry, 49, 624-629.Google Scholar
  39. Straus, M. A., Hambyu, S. L., Boney-McCoy, S., Sugarman, D. B. (1996). The revised conflict tactics scale (CTS2). Journal of Family Issues, 17, 283-316.Google Scholar
  40. Sugarman, J., Kass, N. E., Goodman, S. N., Perentesis, P., Fernandes, P., Faden, R. R. (1998). What patients say about medical research. IRB: A Review of Human Subjects Research, 20, 1-7.Google Scholar
  41. Templeton, D. M. (1993). Sexual assault: Effects of the research process on all the participants. Canadian Family Physician, 39, 248-258.Google Scholar
  42. Walker, E. A., Newman, E., Koss, M., Bernstein, D. (1997). Does the study of victimization revictimize the victims? Psychiatry and Primary Care, 19, 403-410.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael G. Griffin
    • 1
  • Patricia A. Resick
    • 1
  • Angela E. Waldrop
    • 1
  • Mindy B. Mechanic
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Center for Trauma RecoveryUniversity of Missouri – St. LouisSt. Louis

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