Engage Patients in Meaningful Ways

Understanding the world from the patient perspective is key to being a successful trauma-informed organization. It is important for organizations adopting a trauma-informed approach to engage patients and solicit their feedback in order to ensure that any organizational changes resonate with individuals who have experienced trauma. It is equally critical to engage patients to take an active role in treatment planning and decision-making.

Engage Patients in Organizational Planning

Patient voice and choice should be incorporated early on in the planning and awareness-building process for organizations adopting a trauma-informed approach to care, and solicitation of patient and community member feedback should be ongoing.


fact sheet

Engaging Patients and Community Members in Trauma-Informed Care Implementation Planning highlights tips for health care organizations looking to engage patients and community members in their trauma-informed care planning. CHCS, 2019


Engaging Patients in Trauma-Informed Care provides successful strategies from three organizations for incorporating patient voices into broader organizational changes. Featured speakers include spokespersons from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Aligning Forces for Quality initiative. CHCS, 2017



Engaging Consumers in their Health includes tools and advice for developing a patient engagement strategy from communities that participated in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Aligning Forces for Quality initiative. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2015

case study

Incorporating Patients’ Voices at the Women’s HIV Program: University of California, San Francisco  explores how one trauma-informed organization used a patient advisory panel to tailor services to address the needs of patients with trauma histories. CHCS, 2018

Involve Patients in Treatment Planning

Engaging patients and their families in treatment planning and decisions can help individuals manage their own care more effectively, enhance patient satisfaction and, ultimately, improve outcomes. Building on patient strengths and resources creates a solid foundation to help patients achieve their goals. Using peer support workers with their own trauma experience is another way to build patient trust and engagement.

Trauma-informed Care can Improve Relationships with Patients and Patient Engagement

Explore additional videos addressing the benefits of trauma-informed care. LEARN MORE »


technical assistance tool

The COACH Model provides a framework for case managers in empowering patients and engaging them in authentic healing relationships. Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, 2016

journal article

The Impact of Patient-Centered Care on Outcomes highlights the results of a study on patient-centered communication and how patient-centered practices improved health status and increased the efficiency of care by reducing diagnostic tests and referrals. The Journal of Family Practice, 2000


Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainings includes events, resources, and a network of certified trainers for motivational interviewing. Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers

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