What the Research Tells Us About Implementing TIC

Trauma informed care (TIC) is widely accepted as best practice; however, the evidence base is still accumulating. Researchers and practitioners are working to learn more about the essential ingredients of TIC so that implementation efforts can be informed, measurement tools can be created, and outcomes can be tested. Because TIC is specific and unique to settings and circumstances, it will be important to capture this variability, addressing the questions: What works for whom in what circumstances, and why?

Trauma Informed Oregon’s (TIO) research page will be a resource for collective learning; where we can share findings of some of our own research and evaluation projects but also highlight the results you are observing in your efforts to be trauma informed.

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Research Opportunities

TIO conducts ongoing research and evaluation on the implementation of trauma informed care. If you would like to participate in this research or could benefit from consultation around your own evaluation efforts, get in touch.
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Research Papers

Research Notes

Research Notes provide an avenue for Trauma Informed Oregon to share our general thoughts and opinions related to TIC research and evaluation, or to share specific findings that are not summarized in a formal paper or report.

Research and evaluation at TIO prioritizes antiracist practices and perspectives and uses CLAS standards to work toward diversity, equity, and inclusion.

TIO is committed building and disseminating knowledge related to:

The implementation of trauma informed policies, practices, and procedures that reflect CLAS standards, including:

  • The conditions that support implementation in different service systems.
  • The conditions that may present barriers to implementation in different service systems.
  • Benchmarks by which programs, organizations, and systems can track progress and hold themselves and one another accountable for ongoing implementation efforts.

Strategies for evaluating the impact of trauma informed care in programs, organizations, systems. This includes:

  • Metrics to assess the level of TIC achieved in programs/organizations/systems.
  • Metrics to assess change in workforce experiences and behaviors.
  • Procedures to assess changes in experience of service recipients (how they feel)
  • Metrics to assess change in short- and long-term outcomes for service recipients.
  • Metrics to assess impact on organizations.

Evaluations from Sites Implementing TIC

Trauma Informed Oregon works with organizations to implement TIC. This offers an opportunity to evaluate various aspects of the implementation process. The following full reports or summary of findings are offered, with permission from the contracting organizations, as a way to further our collective TIC learning and implementation efforts.

Conducting Research During TIC Implementation

TIO has created a number of tools to assist in the implementation process. These tools can also be used as a way to evaluate progress. However, keep in mind that the tools are purposefully nonspecific as a way to be useful across multiple systems. This means that in order to use the tool for evaluation, you will likely need to define (or as they say in the research world, operationalize) the concepts you are measuring. For example, if you want to measure the number of staff who have attended TIC training, you will need to clarify what is meant by training (e.g., full day, in person only, covering certain topics).

Click on each individual tool below to learn more about considerations for use in evaluation.

Road Map and Screening Tool

The road map and screening tool can help an organization evaluate progress in implementation. The descriptions for each phase along with the steps included in the screening tool can provide some guidance when defining the concepts being measured. These tools lend themselves to quantitative counts (of staff, departments, units etc.). From there, organizations could compare progress across different groups, such as roles or departments. For example, which departments have the most awareness about TIC? Remember that it will be important to clearly define the concepts being measured (e.g., what we mean by awareness). For more advanced research/evaluation, it is possible to use the concepts being measured as a grouping variable to predict something else. For example, does TIC training predict lower absenteeism?

Road Map to TIC

TIC Screening Tool

Logic Model

The logic model provides a good framework for research and evaluation. Each section provides ideas about concepts that can be assessed and analyzed. Although each of the sections on the logic model is important to investigate, one of the most helpful sections relates to the strategies used to demonstrate TIC. Consider implementing a policy or practice and measuring the impact, and then let us know what you learned. Remember to clearly define the concepts being measured and be realistic about what can change as a result. For example, putting more lighting in the parking lot may not increase appointment completions at a health care clinic, but it may make staff or patients feel safer.

     Download the Logic Model >

Standards of Practice

The Standards of Practice can be evaluated in much the same way as the road map and screening tool—quantitative counts can be collected. However, the prompts included for each standard of practice lend themselves to qualitative accounts of TIC implementation. We invite you to consider collecting this qualitative data as a way to tell the story of TIC implementation at your organization. Again, let us know what you are finding and we will be happy to share this out to the broader community.

     View the Standards of Practice >