A web-based educational intervention to implement trauma-informed care in a paediatric healthcare setting: protocol for a feasibility study using pre-post mixed methods design

Megan Simons, Alexandra De Young, Steven M. McPhail, Gillian Harvey, Justin Kenardy, Sanjeewa Kularatna, Roy Kimble, Zephanie Tyack

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Background: Adoption of responsive trauma-informed practices by staff in hospital-based paediatric care may help mitigate downstream costs associated with treatment delivery due to reduced pain and distress for children and care providers, improved health-related quality of life and increased satisfaction with care. A web-based education intervention (termed Responsive CARE) was developed to build self-efficacy of staff in a paediatric medical setting. This protocol paper describes a feasibility study (including preliminary effectiveness) of the implementation of Responsive CARE in a tertiary, outpatient burn clinical setting.

Methods: A pre-post, mixed methods design will be employed. Children and caregivers attending hospital for change of burn wound dressings or burn scar management during the 3-month control or 3-month intervention period will be eligible, with follow-up to 6-months post-baseline. All children and caregiver/s will receive "standard care"including burn interventions focused on wound healing, scar management, itch management (both pharmacological and non-pharmacological), counselling, age-appropriate procedural support and burn rehabilitation. Health professional participants will be those involved in the management of children with burns during the study period or their senior managers. Health professional participants who attend a weekly educational clinical meeting will be invited to complete the intervention during a 1-month timeframe between the control and intervention period (or upon their commencement in burn outpatients during the intervention period) using an individualised log-in process. A purposive sample of caregivers and health professionals will be sought for participation in semi-structured interviews. Qualitative data will be analysed using Framework analysis. Feasibility will be evaluated via interviews, digital records of intervention usage and technical assistance logs. The primary outcome measures of effectiveness (pain, itch and distress) will be measured using self-report or behavioural observation. Quantitative data will primarily be analysed descriptively and using generalised linear models.

Discussion: This study will provide insights into factors that impact upon the feasibility of a web-based trauma-informed care education intervention in a clinical practice setting. This knowledge may support other education approaches within healthcare settings related to improving and supporting patients to reduce the risk of healthcare interactions that result in paediatric medical traumatic stress.

Original languageEnglish
Article number118
Number of pages13
JournalPilot and Feasibility Studies
Publication statusPublished - 19 Aug 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Burns
  • Feasibility studies
  • Health knowledge
  • Implementation science
  • Paediatrics
  • Training
  • Trauma-informed care
  • Web-based


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