ISSN 2586-0151 (Print)
ISSN 2586-0046 (Online)
Volume 14, Number 2 (2/2018)
Original Article <page. 71-9 >

Impact of Indirect Trauma via Media on Post-Traumatic Stress Symptoms : Online Survey Study

Sang Eui Park, MD1;Youji Jung BA2; and Jung Hyun Lee, MD, PhD1,2;

1;Department of Psychiatry, National Center for Mental Health, Seoul, 2;National Center for Trauma, Seoul, Korea

Objective : Several earlier studies have reported similar symptoms in patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) who have been repeatedly exposed to relevant media after disasters and trauma. This study aimed to examine the effects of indirect trauma experience through media rather than direct traumatic events on an individual's social life.

Methods : Five hundred and fifty-four individuals participated in our online, self-reported questionnaire survey. All subjects were asked to complete a demographic questionnaire, Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale, Beck Depression Inventory, the Impact of Event Scale-Revised, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, Korean version of Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test, Patient Health Questionnaire-15, Suicidal Behaviors Questionnaire-Revised. Participants were assessed in regards to their experience of violent media exposure within the past three months.

Results : Data from our study indicates that the group exposed to violent media had significantly higher perceived stress, physical symptoms, insomnia, and suicide ideation in comparison to the control group. Among the major symptoms of PTSD, the proportion of intrusion symptoms was relatively high in the media exposed group.

Conclusion : This suggests that indirect trauma caused by media exposure could cause post-traumatic stress symptoms. The PTSD caused by indirect trauma may have slight differences from the PTSD caused by direct trauma. Therefore, it is necessary to understand, prevent, and control the adverse effects of media.


Key words : Posttraumatic stress disorder;Secondary traumatic stress;Broadcast media;Mental health.

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