Trauma informed care literature scan

Publication date: 22 May 2018

A broad scan of the literature about trauma informed care was undertaken to better understand evidence-based approaches to trauma informed service delivery and workforce responsiveness, and factors supporting implementation. This report describes why using a trauma-informed approach is important, what it involves, and how organisations can implement it. 

It identifies a gap in the research and resources supporting adult mental health and addiction services in New Zealand to implement a trauma informed approach, particularly taking into consideration the long-term and complex individual and collective trauma of Māori people. Worker wellbeing is another key area of concern. 

The literature scan is available to download in full below, or in the following sections that may be more applicable to you:

  • Executive summary 
  • Section one includes definitions of trauma, the prevalence of traumatic events, and the potential impact on people and the health workforce. The role of resilience in influencing outcomes is highlighted. 
  • Section two describes the benefits, key principles and elements of a trauma-informed approach. Different approaches are discussed including an ecological approach, emerging New Zealand approaches, and some specific examples used in prisons and mental health services. 
  • Section three considers evidence on factors supporting the successful implementation of a trauma informed approach, including the identification of potential barriers; supporting workplace wellness and safety; and developing workforce capability.