Funder: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Author: Lisa Dubay, Rachel A. Burton, and Marni Epstein, Urban Institute

July 2018 |


Health care providers increasingly recognize how an individual’s history of trauma may influence his or her health, relationships, and ability to adopt healthy behaviors. Trauma includes exposure to things such as abuse, neglect, discrimination, and violence, which can have a direct impact on lifelong health and well-being. Through Advancing Trauma-Informed Care, a national initiative led by the Center for Health Care Strategies with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, six organizations participated in a pilot demonstration aimed at understanding how trauma-informed approaches can be practically implemented across the health care sector.

This Urban Institute implementation analysis of the six pilot sites identifies the key characteristics that define a trauma-informed organization, as well as barriers and facilitators to adopting trauma-informed practices across various settings. The findings are based on interviews conducted by Urban Institute with patients, staff, and other stakeholders at the Advancing Trauma-Informed Care pilot sites. The sites shared their perspectives on adopting a trauma-informed organizational culture, training staff to be more trauma-informed, promoting staff self-care to reduce burnout, screening for trauma, delivering trauma-specific services to patients, and involving patients in trauma-informed efforts.

See also a blog post summarizing key findings of this analysis.