Promoting the psychological well-being of healthcare providers facing the burden of adverse events: A systematic review of second victim support resources

Isolde Martina Busch, Francesca Moretti, Irene Campagna, Roberto Benoni, Stefano Tardivo, Albert W. Wu, Michela Rimondini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Given the negative impact of adverse events on the wellbeing of healthcare providers, easy access to psychological support is crucial. We aimed to describe the types of support resources available in healthcare organizations, their benefits for second victims, peer supporters’ experiences, and implementation challenges. We also explored how these resources incorporate aspects of Safety I and Safety II. We searched six databases up to 19 December 2019 and additional literature, including weekly search alerts until 21 January 2021. Two reviewers independently performed all methodological steps (search, selection, quality assessment, data extraction, formal narrative synthesis). The 16 included studies described 12 second victim support resources, implemented between 2006 and 2017. Preliminary data indicated beneficial effects not only for the affected staff but also for the peer responders who considered their role to be challenging but gratifying. Challenges during program implementation included persistent blame culture, limited awareness of program availability, and lack of financial resources. Common goals of the support programs (e.g., fostering coping strategies, promoting individual resilience) are consistent with Safety II and may promote system resilience. Investing in second victim support structures should be a top priority for healthcare institutions adopting a systemic approach to safety and striving for just culture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5080
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume18
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2 2021

Keywords

  • Adverse event
  • Emotional distress
  • Healthcare providers
  • Mental health
  • Peer support
  • Resilience
  • Second victim
  • Support programs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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