This paper compares the results of the Post Hurricane Katrina Quality of Professional Practice Survey (PKQPPS) and the Post 9/11 Quality of Professional Practice Survey (PQPPS) which explored the long-term impact of Hurricane Katrina and 9/11 on clinicians practicing and residing in New Orleans and Manhattan respectively. The PKQPPS and the PQPPS studied potential predictors of posttraumatic stress and compassion fatigue/ secondary traumatic stress in helping professionals exposed primarily and secondarily to trauma. A total of 481 Manhattan clinicians and 195 New Orleans clinicians completed the surveys. The PKQPPS and the PQPPS consisted of several established research measures for PTSD, compassion fatigue/ secondary traumatic stress and attachment style, compassion satisfaction, resilience,and traumatic life events. Findings included that New Orleans clinicians had significantly higher scores on insecure attachment (ambivalence and avoidance),traumatic life event history, posttraumatic stress, compassion fatigue, and resilience (p<.0001).
Comparison of regression models predicting PTSD and secondary trauma indicates that both groups evince a significant history of traumatic life events and insecure attachment, but that the New Orleans clinicians are significantly more resilient (p<.0001). These findings further our understanding of clinicians’ responses to differenttypes of disasters, and lays the groundwork for an empirical understanding of dual trauma exposure and the important role that resiliency plays in helping clinicians to continue to practice in traumatogenic environments.