“How Can They Treat It If They Can't Identify It?”: Mental Health Professionals' Knowledge and Perspectives of Moral Injury

Yossi Levi-Belz, Gadi Zerach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Moral injury (MI) is a stressor-related phenomenon that may entail long-term ramifications. However, no study to date has examined mental health professionals' (MHPs') knowledge and treatment perspectives regarding patients with MI. This study aims to shed light on MHPs' perspectives in an experimental design using a manipulation concerning a hypothetical patient. Method: The sample included 846 MHPs who were presented with one of four vignettes of a virtual patient with differential clinical conditions. Participants were then posed several questions regarding the patient's clinical condition, their willingness to treat, and their knowledge regarding MI. Results: Most participants reported no knowledge regarding MI. MHPs receiving MI-related scenarios were less willing to treat and more willing to refer the patient out than MHPs receiving non-MI scenarios. Professional seniority and training concerning MI contributed to greater familiarity with MI. Conclusion: The findings highlight that MHPs have minimal knowledge of MI, which may relate to their reluctance to treat patients with the psychological manifestations of MI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S436-S445
JournalPsychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy
Volume15
DOIs
StatePublished - 31 Jan 2022

Keywords

  • PTSD
  • depression
  • knowledge
  • moral injury
  • vignette

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