The mediating effects of coping strategies on the relationship between secondary traumatic stress and burnout in professional caregivers in the UAE

Abdalla A.R.M. Hamid, Saif A. Musa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Professional caregivers dealing with traumatized victims or mental health clients are at increased risk for developing the same symptoms as persons who are exposed directly to the trauma. Aims: This research was aimed at examining the relationship between secondary traumatic stress, burnout and coping strategies in 502 professional caregivers who work in schools, hospitals, charity institutes and welfare centers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). A further aim was to test the mediating effect of coping on the relationship between burnout and secondary traumatic stress. Methods: Measures used in this study were the Professional Quality of Life Questionnaire (ProQOL), The General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28), The Maslach Burnout Inventory: Human Services Survey (MBI-HSS) and Endler and Parker’s Coping Inventory. Results: Task-focused coping, personal accomplishment and compassion satisfaction were negatively associated with secondary traumatic stress. Burnout, emotion-focused and distraction coping were positively related to secondary traumatic stress. Coping partially mediated the relationship between burnout and secondary traumatic stress. There were also significant gender differences in depersonalization and distraction coping. Conclusions: Efforts need to focus on improvement of caregivers’ work environments, enhancing their coping skills and professional development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-35
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Mental Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2 2017



  • burnout
  • coping
  • job satisfaction
  • secondary traumatic stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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