The burden of research on trauma for respondents

A prospective and comparative study on respondents evaluations and predictors

P.G. van der Velden, M.W.G. Bosmans, A. Scherpenzeel

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Abstract

The possible burden of participating in trauma research is an important topic for Ethical Committees (EC’s), Review Boards (RB’s) and researchers. However, to what extent research on trauma is more burdensome than non-trauma research is unknown. Little is known about which factors explain respondents evaluations on the burden: to what extent are they trauma-related or dependent on other factors such as personality and how respondents evaluate research in general? Data of a large probability based multi-wave internet panel, with surveys on politics and values, personality and health in 2009
and 2011, and a survey on trauma in 2012 provided the unique opportunity to address these questions. Results among respondents confronted with these events in the past 2 years (N = 950) showed that questions on trauma were significantly and systematically evaluated as less pleasant (enjoyed less), more difficult, but also stimulated respondents to think about things more than almost all previous non-trauma surveys. Yet, the computed effect sizes indicated that the differences were (very) small and often meaningless. No differences were found between users and non-users of mental services, in contrast to posttraumatic stress symptoms. Evaluations of the burden of previous surveys in 2011 on politics and values, personality and health most strongly, systematically and independently predicted the burden of questions on trauma, and not posttraumatic stress symptoms, event-related coping self-efficacy and personality factors. For instance, multiple linear
regression analyses showed that 30% of the variance of how (un)pleasant questions on trauma and life-events were evaluated, was explained by how (un)pleasant the 3 surveys in 2011 were evaluated, in contrast to posttraumatic stress symptoms (not significant) and coping self-efficacy (5%). Findings question why EC’s, RB’s and researchers should be more critical of the possible burden of trauma research than of the possible burden of other non-trauma research.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberdoi:10.1371/journal.pone.0077266
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalPLoS ONE
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013

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van der Velden, P. G., Bosmans, M. W. G., & Scherpenzeel, A. (2013). The burden of research on trauma for respondents: A prospective and comparative study on respondents evaluations and predictors. PLoS ONE, 1-11. [doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0077266].
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The burden of research on trauma for respondents : A prospective and comparative study on respondents evaluations and predictors. / van der Velden, P.G.; Bosmans, M.W.G.; Scherpenzeel, A.

In: PLoS ONE, 10.2013, p. 1-11.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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van der Velden PG, Bosmans MWG, Scherpenzeel A. The burden of research on trauma for respondents: A prospective and comparative study on respondents evaluations and predictors. PLoS ONE. 2013 Oct;1-11. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0077266.