Methods: Non-probability sampling methods were utilized to recruit a national sample of MHW (including professionals and paraprofessionals) to complete an online survey that queried respondents’ use of self-care practices, perceptions of organizational supports and barriers, as well as included demographic questions and items related to work setting and role. The Secondary Traumatic Stress Scale (Bride et al., 2004) assessed levels of STS, the Professional Quality of Life Scale (ProQOL; Stamm, 2002) measured burnout and compassion satisfaction, the Brief Resilience Scale (Sinclaire & Wallston, 2004) measured resilience, and the Self-Compassion Scale (Neff, 2003) measured self-compassion. The geographically diverse sample (N=634) worked in a range of service settings, and 34.8% identified as Black, 4.7% as American Indian or Alaskan Native, 3.6% as Asian, 3.5% as Bi- or Multiracial, 1.6% as Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, and 37% as White. Thirty-seven percent identified as cisgender female, 41.5% as cisgender male, 17.5% as transgender, and 1.0% as non-binary.
Results: Overall, concerning levels of burnout and STS were reported, although significant differences were identified with regard to gender, race, and work role. Results of multiple regression analyses indicated compassion satisfaction, self-compassion, self-care practices, negative organizational factors, and burnout significantly predicted STS [F(8, 599)=72.64, p<.001, adjR2=.49], and the final model accounted for nearly 50% of variance in STS scores. With regard to burnout, compassion satisfaction, self-compassion, negative organizational factors, and STS significantly contributed to the model [F(8, 599)=111.99, p<.001, adjR2 =.59], and accounted for nearly 60% of variance in burnout scores.
Conclusions and Implications: STS and burnout are real concerns for MHW, and require concerted efforts to better understand these phenomena and identify potential pathways for prevention and intervention. Findings from this study help to understand current rates of STS and burnout among MHW during COVID-19. In addition, important differences among subgroups were revealed that have implications for intervention. Results of regression analyses illuminated significant individual- and organizational-level predictors of STS and burnout among this sample, and implications for prevention and intervention stemming from these findings are explored.