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Effectiveness of Trauma-Informed Care Implementation in Health Care Settings: Systematic Review of Reviews and Realist Synthesis.

Permanente Journal 2024 March 7
PURPOSE: Given the ubiquity of traumatic exposures and the profound impact of trauma on health, a trauma-informed care (TIC) approach in health care is critical. TIC seeks to promote safety within health care and prevent retraumatization. The lack of systems-level data has been a major barrier to TIC implementation. This study aimed to understand the mechanisms and outcomes effective in implementing TIC across health systems using a systematic review of reviews and realist synthesis.

METHODS: A systematic search of MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), and Applied Social Science Index & Abstracts identified reviews addressing TIC in health care published in the last 10 years in peer-reviewed journals. Realist synthesis methodology was used to develop context-mechanism-outcome configurations. Thematic analysis was performed to generate a framework for the mechanisms of implementation that produce successful TIC outcomes.

RESULTS: Sixteen articles featuring varied review types were included. The results, highlighting the strategies that lead to improved outcomes for patients and systems, were mapped to SAMHSA's 10 TIC implementation domains, including engagement and involvement; training and workforce development; cross-sector collaboration; screening, assessment, and treatment services; governance and leadership; policy; evaluation; progress monitoring and quality assurance; financing; and physical environment.

CONCLUSION: The findings support the use of SAMHSA's 10 implementation domains in varied health care contexts to facilitate effective TIC processes. Future work should continue to evaluate the effectiveness of TIC approaches and may consider how health equity and strengths-based approaches fit within SAMHSA's framework.

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