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Organizational Outcomes Following Traumatic Workplace Incidents: A Practice-Based Exploration of Impact of Incident Severity Level

NCJ Number
Social Work in Mental Health Volume: 11 Issue: 5 Dated: November-December 2013 Pages: 404-433
Gary S. Defraia, Ph.D., M.S.W., L.C.S.W.
Date Published
November 2013
30 pages
This study examined traumatic workplace events and the role of social work.
Traumatic workplace events (critical incidents) occur with unfortunate regularity and with significant repercussions for affected organizations. Critical incident stress management (CISM) units, often a specialty component of employee assistance programs, provide consultation and support for workplace incidents. While CISM seeks to support both individual and organizational outcomes, trauma research oriented toward individual traumatic stress dominates the literature, mirroring practitioner training that tends to emphasize clinical over organizational practice. This research contributes to less-prevalent studies that explore organizational-level outcomes. Despite the facts that social workers play a central role in critical incident response and CISM units collect massive amounts of practice data, there are no published social work studies capitalizing on the potential of existing critical incident data. Employing the methodology of clinical data mining, this practice-based, exploratory research examines the propositions that incident severity level associates with several post-incident organizational outcomes. Several findings translate into considerations for evidence-informed CISM practice in the areas of intake assessment, organizational consultation, and incident response planning. Abstract published by arrangement with Taylor and Francis.