Doctors and nurses practicing trauma informed care continuously strive for optimal recovery, both physically and emotionally, for all of their patients. Providing this level of care requires many questions to be addressed. For instance, if a pediatric patient shows signs of distress, such as worry, fear or anxiety, is this distress a result of the injury or illness? Or has this child always been anxious? Could the child’s elevated blood pressure or heart rate be related to pain due to the injury or illness itself or the anxiety?
To help doctors and nurses sort through these questions, researchers at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia recently developed a new framework to analyze the multitude of factors pertaining to a patient's recovery. This new bio-psycho-social model considers genetic predispositions, the patient and family's belief systems as well as the support networks they have both inside the hospital and in their home environment. In addition, the model highlights the importance of the peri-trauma period, where doctors and nurses can deliver trauma-informed care, supporting both physical and emotional recovery, by assessing patient distress, emotional resources, and family support.