Inner-city victims of violence and trauma care: the importance of trauma-center discharge and aftercare planning and violence prevention programs

J Health Soc Policy. 2005;21(2):17-34. doi: 10.1300/j045v21n02_02.


Inner-city trauma centers often provide care for disproportionately indigent populations who are victims of violence. Many of these victims of violence often return to the trauma center with more violent injuries. Research has shown that a majority of these individuals who return to the trauma center for care are expensive to treat, are uninsured and have significant social problems. Two potential policy approaches are discussed: (1) the use of violence prevention programs to attempt to reduce violence in the immediate community and subsequently reduce the number of victims of violence who are treated in trauma centers and (2) the use of aftercare and discharge models that form an alliance between the trauma center and social service providers in the community. Nontraditional interventions will require the collaboration with hospital departments (emergency medicine, surgery, trauma, social work) and outside agencies, such as the courts and probation and parole. Case management, discharge planning, continuous care treatment teams, and violence intervention models offer positive alternatives to the current method of addressing the multiple problems of victims of violence who frequent the ED.

MeSH terms

  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Humans
  • Patient Care Management / organization & administration*
  • Patient Discharge*
  • Social Work
  • Trauma Centers / economics*
  • United States
  • Urban Population*
  • Violence / prevention & control*