A mixed methods exploratory assessment of the usefulness of Baltimore City Health Department's trauma-informed care training intervention

Am J Orthopsychiatry. 2019;89(2):228-236. doi: 10.1037/ort0000357. Epub 2018 Sep 3.


Youth exposure to trauma is a significant public health problem in the United States, particularly in urban areas. Although trauma-informed care (TIC) training of service providers to address this challenge is increasing nationwide, we lack empirical evidence regarding the feasibility and acceptability of cross-organizational TIC training, including perspectives of training participants. The purpose of our study was to evaluate participating service providers' self-reported changes in knowledge about trauma, attitudes toward traumatized individuals, and beliefs in their capacity to provide referrals to trauma services after completion of the TIC intervention. Intervention participants represented a range of service sectors, including government health and education agencies, social services, law enforcement, as well as nonprofits. Participants completed a pre-post quantitative survey assessing TIC-related knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs (N = 88). A subset of participants was interviewed using a semistructured interview format (n = 16). Mixed methods were used to evaluate the intervention's impact on participants' knowledge about trauma and to understand participants' experience in the training. Quantitative results revealed significant improvements in TIC-related knowledge and attitudes. Five themes emerged from qualitative analysis of interviews: the intervention provided a framework for understanding TIC; useful lessons were learned from other participants; there was a need for outreach to upper-level management; real-life applicability was lacking; and guidance regarding next steps was wanting. Study findings suggest the training may be a starting point for enhancing service providers' capacity to address traumatized youth. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Baltimore
  • Child
  • Child Abuse / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Personnel / education*
  • Health Personnel / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Teaching / psychology*
  • Young Adult