Trauma-informed care is based on a framework that recognizes people’s lived experiences can affect how they engage with the health care system. It shifts the focus from “What’s wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?” A trauma-informed approach to care acknowledges that health care organizations and care teams need to have a full understanding of a patient’s life situation in order to provide effective health care services. The Trauma-Informed Care toolkit provides curated tools and resources to help organizations and health professionals apply trauma-informed principles in the care of people living with a serious illness.

What’s in the Toolkit

These articles and resources provide an overview of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), the negative effect they can have on one’s health, and how trauma-informed care can promote positive outcomes.    

An Interview with Dr. Edward Machtinger: Lessons of Trauma-Informed Care

Dr. Edward Machtinger, Professor of Medicine and Director of the Women's HIV Program at UCSF, shares insight from his work in trauma-informed care, which can incorporated across disciplines and specialties. In this interview, we learn about the impact of one’s emotional, psychological, and social history, and how trauma underlies and perpetuates many serious illnesses.

Trauma-Informed Care: Why It’s Important and How to Implement It into Practice
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In this on-demand webinar, presenters provide an introductory training in Trauma-Informed Care (TIC), equipping clinicians with new, relevant tools to implement into their practice.

Promoting Health Equity Through Trauma-Informed Care: Critical Role for Physicians in Policy and Program Development

The importance of providing trauma-informed care to achieve equitable care. Family & Community Health, 2019.

What are Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)?

General overview of ACEs and their impact on health and well-being. Medical News Today, 2020.

CDC’s Resource Hub for Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shares resources around risk factors and prevention strategies to avoid ACEs and help all children reach their full potential.

The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study

A seminal article highlighting the relationship between exposure to abuse or household dysfunction during childhood and adult health status. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 1998.

Adverse Childhood Experiences and the Risk of Premature Mortality

A study demonstrating association between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and increased risk of premature death during adulthood. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2009.

A compilation of organizational best practices and policy considerations that can be implemented across all health care sectors

Key Ingredients for Trauma-Informed Care Implementation

A practical framework to implement across the healthcare sector. Center for Health Care Strategies, April 2016.

Trauma-Informed Care Implementation Resource Center

The Center for Health Care Strategies compiles resources from trauma-informed care leaders across the country.

SAMHSA's Concept of Trauma and Guidance for a Trauma-Informed Approach

A framework for becoming a trauma-informed organization. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 2014.

Watch, listen, and read about using a trauma-informed care approach for self-care; and recommended clinical assessment tools to use in practice.  

Surviving and Thriving in the Emergency Department

How to move beyond surviving to thriving by incorporating the meaningful practice of trauma-informed care. Brigham and Women’s Hospital, 2021.

Resilience Roadmap: A Podcast for Nurses

The benefits of using a trauma-informed approach to self-care and how to apply them. Episode 3: Trauma – Informed Self Care Brigham and Women’s Hospital, 2021.

Trauma-Informed Nursing Practice

Strategies for trauma-informed nursing practice and organizational considerations for the nursing workforce. Journal of Issues in Nursing, 2019.

The Necessity of Trauma-Informed Practice in Contemporary Social Work

A call to action for Social Workers to become trauma informed. Social Work, 2019.

Building a Trauma-Informed Workforce

A manual to help behavioral health professionals understand the impact of trauma on those who experience it. “Trauma-Informed Care in Behavioral Health Services” Chapter 2, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, 2014.

Finding Your ACE Score

The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Questionnaire is a validated tool used by trained providers to measure the impact of childhood abuse and neglect on health and wellbeing. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 1998.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Checklist for Civilians (PCL-C)

Developed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, this checklist has been adapted for use in the general population. National Center for PTSD, 2003.

Articles that highlight the relationship between racism and trauma; and strategies to incorporate a focus on racial equity to enhance trauma-informed care efforts. 

The Trauma of Racism

How racial discrimination can impact one’s overall health and wellbeing. Psychology Today, 2020.

Incorporating Racial Equity into Trauma-Informed Care

Considerations for health systems and provider practices to enhance trauma-informed care approaches and promote racial justice. Center for Health Care Strategies, 2021.

Case studies and disease specific care models for integrating trauma-informed care into the care of people living with a serious illness.

How Trauma–Informed Care Improves the Patient Experience

Brigham and Women’s Hospital shares how the patient experience can improve when applying trauma-informed care.

Practice Considerations for Trauma-Informed Care at End of Life

This article reviews research on trauma at end of life, provides an overview of trauma-informed principles, and explores possibilities for applying trauma-informed care through an illustrative case study of a patient at end of life. Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life and Palliative Care, 2020.

Trauma-Informed Care in Cancer Care

A scoping review of published literature on the use of trauma-informed care in cancer care settings. Trauma, Violence, and Abuse, 2022.

On Being a Patient

A short essay from the lens of trauma-informed care as a provider turned patient. Annals of Internal Medicine, 2023.

Trauma-Informed-Approaches Toolkit

Addressing trauma and supporting healing within the HIV care delivery system. National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD), 2022.

Resources for improving team health and tools to help clinicians cope with moral distress, grief, and trauma. Includes 47 resources.
Tools to help health professionals improve health equity for all people living with serious illness. Includes 40 resources.
Toolkit for finding the right patients at the right time to address gaps in care. Includes 55 resources.

See all 47 Toolkits

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