Trauma-Informed Medical Care: Patient Response to a Primary Care Provider Communication Training

Bonnie L. Green, Pamela A. Saunders, Elizabeth Power, Priscilla Dass-Brailsford, Kavitha Bhat Schelbert, Esther Giller, Larry Wissow, Alejandra Hurtado de Mendoza, Mihriye Mete

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Trauma exposure predicts mental disorders and health outcomes; yet there is little training of primary care providers about trauma’s effects, and how to better interact with trauma survivors. This study adapted a theory-based approach to working with trauma survivors, Risking Connection, into a 6-hour CME course, Trauma-Informed Medical Care (TI-Med), to evaluate its feasibility and preliminary efficacy. We randomized four primary care sites to training or wait-list conditions; PCPs at wait-list sites were trained after reassessment. Primary care providers (PCPs) were Family Medicine residents (n = 17; 2 sites) or community physicians (n = 13; 2 sites). Outcomes reported here comprised a survey of 400 actual patients seen by the PCPs in the study. Patients, mostly minority, completed surveys before or after their provider received training. Patients rated PCPs significantly higher after training on a scale encompassing partnership issues. Breakdowns showed lower partnership scores for those with trauma or posttraumatic stress symptoms. Future studies will need to include more specific trauma-related outcomes. Nevertheless, this training is a promising initial approach to teaching trauma-informed communication skills to PCPs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-159
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Loss and Trauma
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 3 2016

Keywords

  • Communication
  • continuing medical education
  • patient- centeredness
  • primary care
  • trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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  • Cite this

    Green, B. L., Saunders, P. A., Power, E., Dass-Brailsford, P., Schelbert, K. B., Giller, E., Wissow, L., Hurtado de Mendoza, A., & Mete, M. (2016). Trauma-Informed Medical Care: Patient Response to a Primary Care Provider Communication Training. Journal of Loss and Trauma, 21(2), 147-159. https://doi.org/10.1080/15325024.2015.1084854