Post-traumatic stress symptomatology following exposure to perceived traumatic perinatal events within the midwifery profession: the impact of trait emotional intelligence

Nightingale, Suzanne and Spiby, Helen and Sheen, Kayleigh and Slade, Pauline (2018) Post-traumatic stress symptomatology following exposure to perceived traumatic perinatal events within the midwifery profession: the impact of trait emotional intelligence. Journal of Advanced Nursing . ISSN 1365-2648

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Abstract

Aims: To explore factors associated with, and predictors of, post‐traumatic stress symptoms in midwives. To explore factors associated with, and potential moderating effects of, trait emotional intelligence. Secondary analysis explored predictors of resilience.

Background: Midwives may experience vicarious trauma responses due to exposure to certain perinatal events in their professional lives. This may have adverse psychological outcomes for midwives, and women and children in their care.

Design: A cross‐sectional, online and paper survey of midwives in the United Kingdom was conducted.

Methods: Between February‐October 2016, 113 midwives who met inclusion criteria provided demographic information, and completed scales measuring post‐traumatic stress symptoms, trait emotional intelligence, empathy, resilience, social support, and attitudes towards emotional expression.

Results: Higher resilience and trait emotional intelligence scores were associated with reduced post‐traumatic stress symptoms. Higher empathy, perceived social support, and resilience were associated with higher trait emotional intelligence. Lower resilience significantly predicted post‐traumatic stress symptoms. Trait emotional intelligence did not moderate relationships between resilience and post‐traumatic stress symptoms, but may protect against post‐traumatic stress symptoms in midwives with higher empathy. Higher trait emotional intelligence, and lower empathy and need for support, significantly predicted resilience. Notably, when trait emotional intelligence was higher, the negative relationship between empathy and resilience was reduced.

Conclusion: Approximately one fifth of midwives were experiencing post‐traumatic stress symptoms at clinically significant levels. Trait emotional intelligence may protect against post‐traumatic stress symptoms by supporting resilience, whilst enabling midwives to remain empathic. The negative correlation between resilience and empathy needs careful consideration by policy makers.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article, which has been published in final form athttps://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jan.13719. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1111/jan.13719
Depositing User: Eprints, Support
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2018 07:54
Last Modified: 24 May 2018 13:06
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/51101

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