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Families and Friends of Homicide Victims' Experiences with the Healthcare System: A Trauma-Informed Perspective

NCJ Number
307830
Author(s)
Jeanna M. Mastrocinque; Regina S. Martino; Wanda Foglia; Peter Navratil; Jed Metzger; Elizabeth A. Cerceo
Date Published
2023
Annotation

The research presented in this article used a framework approach to study the needs and experiences of families and friends of homicide victims when interacting with the healthcare system, with the goal of informing physicians' and providers' interactions and provision of services.

Abstract

Families and friends of homicide victims (FFHV) interact with healthcare systems almost immediately after the traumatic event. Their interactions with healthcare providers can either facilitate healing, have a neutral effect, or compound an already painful experience. When trauma victims are admitted to the hospital, resources are necessarily diverted on their behalf with less consistent attention paid to their families and friends. The interactions surrounding the immediate circumstance as well as experiences in the weeks to months after can have significant long- term impact. This study explores the needs and experiences of FFHV when interacting with the healthcare system to inform physicians' and providers' interactions and provision of services. This study of 3 focus groups sought to understand these experiences with the healthcare system to better inform physicians' and providers' interactions and provision of services. Using the framework approach, the study ultimately built upon the existing trauma-informed care (TIC) framework to include several emergent themes. Participants discussed the need for death notification sensitivity, benefits of coordinated care, barriers to accessing care, the need for physician empathy and attention, the lack of trauma screening, and hastily prescribing medications. This TIC approach can inform future healthcare interactions with the FFHV as it grounds the patients' experience in their historical reality and may improve future provider-patient relationship. (Published Abstracts Provided)