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Evaluating referral pathways to a specialist trauma service

Evaluating referral pathways to a specialist trauma service Lengthy and complex routes to specialist care may negatively affect clinical profiles of trauma survivors accessing mental health services. The purpose of this study was to describe the characteristics and referral pathways of a cohort of clients accepted by a specialist trauma service in England; and investigate the associations between referral pathways and clients’ clinical profiles, namely, pre-treatment levels of post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, stress and post-traumatic growth.Design/methodology/approachData on 117 consecutive, accepted referrals were extracted from clients’ clinical records. Information on demographics, trauma histories, clinical presentations and referral pathways was synthesised through summary statistics. Correlational analyses were conducted to test associations with pre-treatment scores.FindingsClients accessing the service were highly complex and mostly experienced prolonged, interpersonal trauma. Pathways to the service varied, but 50% of the sample had at least four “steps” in their referral histories and seven previous clinical contacts. The average time between trauma and specialist referral was 16.34 years. The number of referral steps positively, significatively and moderately correlated with anxiety and stress at pre-treatment.Research limitations/implicationsLimitations include issues around collecting past referral information, the small sample size for clients with available pre-treatment data and the lack of post-treatment scores.Originality/valueThis evaluation provides an informative overview of the characteristics and referral pathways of clients accessing a specialist trauma service. It also offers preliminary insights on the relationship between clients’ routes into the service and their clinical profiles. Practice, commissioning and research implications are discussed. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Mental Health Review Journal Emerald Publishing

Evaluating referral pathways to a specialist trauma service

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References (49)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1361-9322
eISSN
1361-9322
DOI
10.1108/mhrj-08-2022-0055
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Lengthy and complex routes to specialist care may negatively affect clinical profiles of trauma survivors accessing mental health services. The purpose of this study was to describe the characteristics and referral pathways of a cohort of clients accepted by a specialist trauma service in England; and investigate the associations between referral pathways and clients’ clinical profiles, namely, pre-treatment levels of post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, stress and post-traumatic growth.Design/methodology/approachData on 117 consecutive, accepted referrals were extracted from clients’ clinical records. Information on demographics, trauma histories, clinical presentations and referral pathways was synthesised through summary statistics. Correlational analyses were conducted to test associations with pre-treatment scores.FindingsClients accessing the service were highly complex and mostly experienced prolonged, interpersonal trauma. Pathways to the service varied, but 50% of the sample had at least four “steps” in their referral histories and seven previous clinical contacts. The average time between trauma and specialist referral was 16.34 years. The number of referral steps positively, significatively and moderately correlated with anxiety and stress at pre-treatment.Research limitations/implicationsLimitations include issues around collecting past referral information, the small sample size for clients with available pre-treatment data and the lack of post-treatment scores.Originality/valueThis evaluation provides an informative overview of the characteristics and referral pathways of clients accessing a specialist trauma service. It also offers preliminary insights on the relationship between clients’ routes into the service and their clinical profiles. Practice, commissioning and research implications are discussed.

Journal

Mental Health Review JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 15, 2023

Keywords: PTSD; Post-traumatic stress; Clinical profiles; Referral pathways; Stepped-care model; Trauma service

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