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Development, implementation, and evaluation of a trauma-informed simulation-based training program for graduate nurses: A single arm feasibility and pilot study

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 14:05 authored by Zordan, R, Carolyn LethborgCarolyn Lethborg, Forster, J, Mason, T, Walker, V, McBrearty, K, Torcasio, C

Background: The chance of hospital staff encountering a patient with a trauma history is high. The way health services are offered and carried out are important when engaging with people who have experienced trauma. Implementing training in trauma-informed care (TIC) is part of a cultural change of benefit to both patients and staff. Simulation-based training is a well-accepted method to reduce staff fear and anxiety when working with individuals in distress and to address issues relating to bias and stigma.

Objectives: To provide simulation-based TIC training to graduate nurses.

Design: A three-phase process was undertaken to i) create the intervention, ii) determine feasibility, and iii) evaluate the developed training.

Setting: A 600-bed inner-city tertiary hospital in Melbourne, Victoria.

Participants: Graduate nurses undertaking their first year of employment (n = 23).

Methods: The content of the training was created using evidence derived from a literature review, a scoping study of available resources, and expert consensus. A pre/post-test within-groups design to assess the safety, acceptability, and effectiveness of the training was undertaken.

Results: The Trauma Informed–Simulation Based Training (TI-SBT) aims to increase TIC knowledge and promote TIC behaviours. It is delivered face-to-face over one day and encompasses an education component followed by three immersive patient simulations using professional actors. Analysis found significant improvement in TIC knowledge (p ≤ 0.001, 95% CI = −3.53, −0.47) and behaviours (p = 0.013, 95% CI = −8.88, −5.03). No significant differences were found in measures of anxiety and confidence. Satisfaction with all aspects of the training was high. Qualitatively, participants provided concrete examples of changes to their practice to facilitate TIC.

Conclusions: The developed and novel TI-SBT is a feasible (safe, acceptable, and effective) way of introducing TIC to graduate nurses. These findings provide strong evidence to support a more rigorous evaluation of the training by randomised controlled trial. The TI-SBT has the capacity to not only improve patient care but the experience of hospital staff.


Publication title

Nurse Education Today



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School of Health Sciences


Elsevier Ltd

Place of publication

United Kingdom

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© 2022 Elsevier Ltd.

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  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Professional development and adult education; Teaching and instruction technologies; Mental health

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