Developing Trauma-Informed-Care for People Living With HIV


A poster presented at ANAC2019 detailed a trauma-informed care education program for nurses providing inpatient care to people living with HIV which received a positive reception from nursing professionals.

Experiences with trauma can impact psychological, behavioral, and physiological health outcomes for people living with HIV. People living with HIV are 1.5 to 2 times more likely to report childhood sexual or physical abuse. In addition, up to 91% of people living with HIV report at least 1 traumatic life experience.

Trauma-informed care interventions have the potential to improve outcomes and quality of life. An abstract presented during a poster session at the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care Conference (ANAC 2019) detailed a trauma-informed care education program implemented in May 2019 for nurses providing inpatient care to people living with HIV.

The trauma-informed care education program was described as taking place in a 23-bed general medicine unit in a large, academic, tertiary care setting where approximately half of beds are dedicated to people living with HIV. The intervention included a 15-minute in-person educational presentation, an informative poster, and access to electronic educational resources.

The in-person presentation and poster were developed according to principles of trauma-informed care using epidemiological data, screening tools, and practical strategies to respond to trauma as well as prevent further traumatization. Electronic resources include in-depth research articles about trauma and HIV.

Abstract authors based the development of their program on the desire for nurses to understand trauma on a foundational level in order to build on existing processes, policies, and resources in addressing barriers to implementing trauma-informed care for people living with HIV.

Nurses that were introduced to the program expressed a sense that trauma-informed care aligns with broader principles of patient-centered care, thus building upon the existing nursing practices at the unit. Nurses also responded to the program by highlighting the benefits of widespread information about the prevalence of trauma among people living with HIV.

The abstract, Trauma-Informed Care for Hospitalized People Living With HIV, was presented in a poster session at ANAC 2019 in Portland, Oregon.

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