Victim-Centered and Trauma-Informed

Many people who come to us for care have experienced trauma in their lives. To help them get the care and services they need, it’s important for us to understand how trauma affects their decisions, responses, and their health. Dignity Health promotes use of a trauma-informed approach, or trauma-informed care model, in all of its health care settings. This includes seeking and maximizing input from the patient in all decisions.

We know that comprehensive education on trauma is essential for identifying the potential signs and symptoms of trauma in patients, family members, community members, and the health care professionals attempting to assist them. We’ve developed extensive trauma education with our staff at Dignity Health that we are glad to share with other health care providers. To request this education from Dignity Health, please contact Petra Linden, Director of International Health & Human Trafficking, at [email protected].

In order to identify and care for victims/survivors of any form of abuse, neglect, or violence, including human trafficking, Dignity Health has developed the PEARR Tool, in partnership with HEAL Trafficking and Pacific Survivor Center, to help guide social workers, nurses, and other professionals on how to provide assistance in a trauma-informed manner.

When caring for a patient, a health care provider can follow these steps:

  • Provide privacy
  • Educate
  • Ask
  • Respect & Respond

Download the PEARR Tool.

The PEARR Tool is based on a universal education model[1] which focuses on educating patients on abuse first, rather than conducting a screening in hopes of leading to patient disclosure and health care provider intervention. The goal is to have an informative and normalizing conversation with patients in order to create the context and opportunity for them to connect and share their own experiences. Providing universal education to patients about domestic violence (DV)/intimate partner violence (IPV) is an evidence-based best practice to prevent and intervene in situations of DV/IPV.

After caring for numerous patients who have exhibited indicators of human trafficking, Dignity Health staff have determined that universal education may be key in the prevention and intervention of many forms of abuse, neglect, and violence. We recommend providing universal education about various forms of abuse, neglect, and violence in all of our health care settings, particularly in settings that offer long-term care and services. For urgent and emergency care settings, a universal education approach may be most appropriate and effective when a patient presents with risk factors or indicators of victimization. In this case, the PEARR Tool offers guidance to health care professionals about how to provide education and assistance in a trauma-informed manner.



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