Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Research Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



First Advisor

Vida L. Tyc

Second Advisor

Anthony LoGalbo

Third Advisor

Theodore G. Petersen

Fourth Advisor

Robert A. Taylor


Trauma is an all-too-common occurrence with the potential for several farreaching, deleterious effects both mentally and physically. Several studies have found an association between exposure to trauma and cardiovascular, immune, and musculoskeletal system complications. It has also been linked to chronic pain, cancer, and obesity, in addition to several functional and structural neurological effects. Trauma survivors have also been found to utilize healthcare services at a higher rate than those who have not reported experiencing trauma. Trauma-informed care is a relatively novel concept that has been introduced to increase the sensitivity with which these individuals are treated when attending healthcare appointments, due to the potentially triggering effect often associated with them. However, research examining patients’ perspectives using a specific trauma-informed care context is severely lacking. Therefore, this study aimed to expand the literature by examining the perceived quality of healthcare, from a trauma-informed care perspective, among survivors of trauma. A total of 57 trauma survivors were included in the study. The results from this study found that most trauma survivors in the sample perceived the quality of their health care as adequate. Perceptions of care did not differ across demographic and traumarelated factors. However, trauma survivors with less symptoms of posttraumatic stress had better perceptions of their care compared to trauma survivors with more symptoms of posttraumatic stress. There were also significant differences between groups on different aspects of trauma-informed care. Additionally, individuals who reported a higher number of barriers to healthcare and had lower perceptions of quality of care had higher rates of healthcare utilization compared to individuals with a higher number of barriers to healthcare and higher perceptions of quality of care. This study uniquely provided an understanding of how a sample of trauma survivors perceives the quality of their healthcare interactions, using a specific trauma-informed care context based on the principles proposed by SAMHSA.


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