Saturday, July 13, 2024

Innovative Programme Aims to Transform Trauma Recovery for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Families

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Amid rising concerns for the health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, a groundbreaking initiative is taking shape to address complex trauma during the perinatal period. The “Healing the Past by Nurturing the Future†(HPNF) project is set to revolutionize support systems by introducing comprehensive strategies aimed at fostering recovery and breaking the cycles of trauma.

Programme Components

The HPNF initiative has been meticulously codesigned over four years to enhance the recognition, support, and assessment of trauma. Key elements of the programme include a trauma-aware, healing-informed training package for service providers, resources to raise trauma awareness among parents, and an organizational readiness assessment. Additional support mechanisms feature a database to help parents and service providers identify accessible resources and the piloting of safe trauma recognition and assessment processes. The programme will be trialed in a large rural health service in Victoria, Australia, over the course of one year.

Evaluation and Analysis

A mixed-methods approach will be employed to evaluate the programme’s feasibility, acceptability, cost, effectiveness, and sustainability. This will involve conducting interviews with service users and providers, auditing service usage and costs, and performing an administrative linked data study focusing on parent and infant outcomes. Qualitative data will undergo reflexive thematic analysis, while quantitative service usage data will be reported as counts and proportions. Health outcomes will be evaluated using interrupted time series analyses.

In terms of market access, the programme’s comprehensive design and inclusive approach are crucial for ensuring wider accessibility and adoption across various service providers. This multi-faceted strategy helps position the programme as a viable model for other regions and health services, potentially expanding its market reach and impact.

Concrete Inferences

  • The trauma-aware training package for service providers can enhance service delivery and foster a more supportive environment for affected families.
  • The inclusion of trauma-awareness resources for parents empowers them with the knowledge and tools to better manage and recover from trauma.
  • Organizational readiness assessments ensure that service providers are adequately prepared to implement and sustain the programme.
  • The database for identifying additional support aids both parents and service providers in accessing necessary resources efficiently.

The ethical considerations and dissemination plans for the HPNF project have been meticulously outlined. Approval has been granted by the St Vincent’s Melbourne Ethics Committee, ensuring that the initiative adheres to the National Health and Medical Research Council Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research Excellence criteria. Data from the programme will be disseminated according to a pre-established strategy detailed in the codesign study protocol.

Original Article:

BMJ Open. 2024 Jul 2;14(7):e085555. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2024-085555.

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Complex trauma can have serious impacts on the health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families. The perinatal period represents a ‘critical window’ for recovery and transforming cycles of trauma into cycles of healing. The Healing the Past by Nurturing the Future (HPNF) project aims to implement and evaluate a programme of strategies to improve support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander families experiencing complex trauma.

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METHOD: The HPNF programme was codesigned over 4 years to improve awareness, support, recognition and assessment of trauma. Components include (1) a trauma-aware, healing-informed training and resource package for service providers; (2) trauma-awareness resources for parents; (3) organisational readiness assessment; (4) a database for parents and service providers to identify accessible and appropriate additional support and (5) piloting safe recognition and assessment processes. The programme will be implemented in a large rural health service in Victoria, Australia, over 12 months. Evaluation using a mixed-methods approach will assess feasibility, acceptability, cost, effectiveness and sustainability. This will include service user and provider interviews; service usage and cost auditing; and an administrative linked data study of parent and infant outcomes.

ANALYSIS: Qualitative data will be analysed using reflexive thematic analysis. Quantitative and service usage outcomes will be described as counts and proportions. Evaluation of health outcomes will use interrupted time series analyses. Triangulation of data will be conducted and mapped to the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research and Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation and Maintenance frameworks to understand factors influencing feasibility, acceptability, effectiveness, cost and sustainability.

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Approval granted from St Vincent’s Melbourne Ethics Committee (approval no. 239/22). Data will be disseminated according to the strategy outlined in the codesign study protocol, in-line with the National Health and Medical Research Council Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research Excellence criteria.

PMID:38960467 | DOI:10.1136/bmjopen-2024-085555

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