Date of Award

2001

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Psychology

Faculty

Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

Abstract

In this study the recovery experiences of individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to a work-related trauma was investigated. The aim of the study was to explore individual experiences within an ecological framework in order to develop a clearer understanding of the significance of contextual factors. The study utilised a multiple case methodology and data was analysed using the qualitative method of focused conceptual development. Participants were four males and one female ranging in age from 37 to 57 years and two female key informants who had four and seven years of experience of working with stress claims in the worker's compensation system. Participants were interviewed about their experiences of recovery. The data was triangulated with archival data from the participant's vocational rehabilitation file and information provided by the key informants. Findings suggest that viewing work-related trauma within an ecological framework enhance our understanding of the trauma recovery process. This study revealed a number of key influences in participant's experience of recovery, such as the influence of the worker's compensation system, social support and coping style. These included issues such as recognition and legitimacy of psychological injury and the type of services offered in the system. Implications for clinical practice and the wider community are discussed including the importance of a comprehensive ecological assessment when working with work-related trauma victims.

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