Purpose: Healthcare providers may experience critical incidents, medical errors, or other adverse patient events in their clinical practice.Providers that encounter such events can experience second victim syndrome (SVS), a condition where providers feel psychological, cognitive, or physical reactions rendering care in these instances. Organizational support may mediate the impacts of SVS after an adverse patient event. We conducted a scoping review to explore and synthesize the literature on the support strategies implemented by healthcare organizations for healthcare providers after adverse patient events. Methods: The initial search strategy yielded 244 articles, 84 of which were removed for duplication. The 3-person review team completed title and abstract screening, reference screening, and full-text review, reaching 2-person consensus for article inclusion at each phase. To be included in analysis, studies had to be conducted in the United States, include real or perceived outcomes of organizational support strategies for healthcare providers related to adverse patient events. During title and abstract screening, 144 articles did not meet inclusion criteria. The references of the remaining articles (n = 16) were screened and 6 articles were added to the review pool. Twenty-two articles were included in the full text analysis, 16 articles were removed for not meeting the inclusion criteria. Six articles were included in the final extraction and analysis. Results: The 6 studies assessed SVS and organizational support across a variety of healthcare work settings and professions. Findings indicated that healthcare providers believe organizational support after adverse patient events was or would be beneficial for minimizing SVS. They further demonstrated a discrepancy in the types of support strategies healthcare providers preferred or desired after an adverse event, as the level of agreement differed between sampled populations.Conclusion: Healthcare providers believe support from their organization is important after experiencing an adverse patient event, but support strategies may not be universal. Organizations should establish provider support systems for adverse events, but first need to assess provider preferences to implement the strategies most desired. As organizations develop their support systems, they should consider the interprofessional nature of their staffs to aid in collective support following an adverse event.
Petryszyn KR, Young JP, Neil ER, Benedict JE, Eberman LE. Second Victim Syndrome and Organizational Support for Healthcare Providers: A Scoping Review. The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice. 2023 Jun 29;21(3), Article 21.