Project Prescription for Hope (RxH): trauma surgeons and community aligned to reduce injury recidivism caused by violence

Am Surg. 2012 Sep;78(9):1000-4.


The recidivism rate for violent injuries in the United States has been reported as high as 45 per cent. Based on a retrospective review, the 5-year recidivism rate at the Indiana University/Wishard Trauma Center is 31 per cent, and the 1-year recidivism rate is 8.7 per cent. Individuals who have been admitted with a violent injury are screened by one of the Prescription for Hope (RxH) support specialists (SS). If the individual consents to participate, the SS conducts an in-depth assessment of risk factors. The SS and participant identify personal goals and develop a tailored service plan, which is outlined in a formalized agreement. In the first year of the RxH program (June 1, 2009, to May 31, 2010), 64 patients were enrolled. The most-often referred community services are in the category of social integration (84%). The SS have a 99 per cent success rate in getting clients to initiate services; 82 per cent have completed the services and 12 per cent are still using the services. As of the time of this writing, 34 subjects have been in RxH for at least 1 year. One patient returned to the trauma center in September 2010 with a repeat violent injury; this represents a 2.9 per cent 1-year recidivism rate. In the first 12 months of our program we did not have any participants return with a violent injury (0% recidivism), and we have only had one patient return to date. We conclude that the RxH SS model may play a significant role in decreasing the recidivism of violent injuries.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Community Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Indiana / epidemiology
  • Interinstitutional Relations
  • Juvenile Delinquency / prevention & control
  • Juvenile Delinquency / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organizational Objectives
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Trauma Centers
  • Traumatology
  • Violence / prevention & control*
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control*