Implementing Trauma-Informed Care-Settings, Definitions, Interventions, Measures, and Implementation across Settings: A Scoping Review

Healthcare (Basel). 2024 Apr 27;12(9):908. doi: 10.3390/healthcare12090908.


Traumatic experiences can have long-lasting negative effects on individuals, organizations, and societies. If trauma is not addressed, it can create unsafe cultures with constant arousal, untrusting relationships, and the use of coercive measures. Trauma-informed care (TIC) can play a central role in mitigating these negative consequences, but it is unknown how and in which way(s) TIC should be implemented. Our objective was to conduct a scoping review that systematically explored and mapped research conducted in this area and to identify existing knowledge about the implementation of TIC. The search was conducted on the CINAHL, Cochrane, Embase, ERIC, Medline, PsycINFO, and Web of Science databases, and more than 3000 empirical papers, published between 2000 and 2022, were identified. Following further screening, we included 157 papers in our review, which were mainly from the USA, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, focusing on study settings, methodologies, and definitions of TIC, as well as the types of interventions and measures used. This review shows that TIC is a complex and multifaceted framework, with no overarching structure or clear theoretical underpinnings that can guide practical implementations. TIC has been defined and adapted in varied ways across different settings and populations, making it difficult to synthesize knowledge. A higher level of agreement on how to operationalize and implement TIC in international research could be important in order to better examine its impact and broaden the approach.

Keywords: TIC; implementation; mental health; multifaceted framework; organizations; scoping review; trauma; trauma-informed care.

Publication types

  • Review

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.