Does trauma survey research cause more distress than other types of survey research?

Amanda G. Ferrier-Auerbach, Christopher R. Erbes, Melissa A. Polusny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Members of institutional review boards who evaluate trauma research protocols frequently face the task of balancing potential risk with potential benefit. However, no known study has examined the relative effect of participating in a trauma-related survey compared to participating in a nontrauma survey. The authors randomly assigned participants receiving care in an outpatient PTSD treatment program to complete questionnaires assessing either trauma-related or nontrauma content. Participants completing trauma-related questionnaires reported feeling sadder and more tense than other participants, though they did not report differences in perceived gain from participation or retrospective willingness to participate. Results suggest that level of distress after participating in trauma research was insufficient to reduce willingness for, or perceived benefit from, participation in trauma survey research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)320-323
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Traumatic Stress
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009


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