Does Trauma-Related Training Have a Relationship With, or Impact On, Mental Health Professionals' Frequency of Asking About, or Detection of, Trauma History? A Systematic Literature Review

Lisa Coyle*, Donncha Hanna, Kevin F.W. Dyer, John Read, David Curran, Ciaran Shannon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Objective: Exposure to traumatic events is prevalent, with the impact of trauma and its relationship with other conditions widely documented. Research suggests that clinicians do not routinely ask about trauma history in clinical settings. Trauma-related training has been recommended as a means of addressing this. Neither the impact of training on clinician behavior (i.e., frequency of asking about or detection of trauma history) nor the relationship between training and these variables have been formally reviewed. Method: A systematic literature review was conducted using PsycINFO, Scopus, and Web of Science. The grey literature and reference lists of included articles were consulted. Nine articles met the eligibility criteria for inclusion. Results: Two-thirds of studies reported statistically significant evidence to suggest that trauma-related training is related to (1) increased frequency of asking about trauma history and (2) greater detection of trauma history. Conclusions: While acknowledging the limited number and variable quality of studies, as well as the failure to detect statistical significance in all studies, this review provides some evidence that trauma-related training is related to clinician inquiry and detection of trauma history. Further high-quality research is needed. Training should address barriers to inquiry, acknowledge the potential variation in inquiry behavior across trauma subtypes, and encompass a skill and educational approach to both inquiry and response to trauma.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2019

Keywords

  • Asking about trauma
  • Mental health professionals
  • Routine inquiry
  • Trauma history
  • Trauma-related training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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