Impacts of trauma- and violence-informed care education: A mixed method follow-up evaluation with health & social service professionals
Public Health Nursing
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Objectives: Trauma- and violence-informed care (TVIC) creates safety by understanding the impacts of trauma on health and behavior, and the intersecting impacts of structural and interpersonal violence. This study examined the impact, 1–2 years later, of TVIC professional education. Design, Sample and Measurements: We conducted a mixed method descriptive follow-up evaluation (online survey, n = 67, and semi-structured interviews, n = 7) with health and social service providers, leaders and researchers who attended TVIC workshops. Participants were asked how the workshop impacted their thinking, actions and perceptions of organizational changes. Results: Participants reported greater impact on attitudes than on behaviors. The most common change in awareness and thinking related to better understanding of the links among trauma, pain and substance use. Practice changes included more active listening and empathy, less use of jargon and less judgement in care encounters. Participants linked these practices to better care interactions, and more trust, openness and satisfaction among service users. Conclusion: Educating health professionals and others (e.g. educators) about trauma, violence, and discrimination is not easy. TVIC education can help shift potentially stigmatizing attitudes which can then precipitate practice change. These approaches are emerging as an important way to improve health and quality of life.