Trauma in Schools: An Examination of Trauma Screening and Linkage to Behavioral Health Care in School-Based Health Centers

Erum Nadeem, Vanessa Floyd-Rodríguez, Gabriela de la Torre, Whitney Greswold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: This study examined trauma screening and behavioral health linkage rates in school-based health centers (SBHCs). METHODS: Participants included 4161 English- and Spanish-speaking patients between the ages of 12 and 22 across 8 urban SBHCs 2 years. Screening rates at medical visits and linkage to additional behavioral health screening and services were assessed via electronic medical records and a chart audit. RESULTS: Medical providers administered the Primary Care-PTSD screen to 66.3% of patients in year 1 and 46.7% of patients in year 2. Rates of positive trauma screens were 27.5% and 32.1%, respectively, with more girls screening positive than boys. Few (year 1; 8.1%; year 2: 9.6%) adolescents received additional trauma screening by a behavioral health clinician. However, the majority were linked to services (year 1: 66%; year 2: 74%). Lack of documentation (year 1: 24%; year 2: 33%) was a common gap in the charts of patients who did not receive a second stage trauma screening. Demographic differences in screening rates were minimal. CONCLUSION: The current study supports the feasibility of traumatic stress screening and linkage within an integrated care setting. Process improvement efforts should, however, address communication gaps around trauma assessment and its integration into ongoing care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)428-436
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of School Health
Volume91
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Philosophy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Keywords

  • primary care
  • school-based health centers
  • school-based screening
  • trauma

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Trauma in Schools: An Examination of Trauma Screening and Linkage to Behavioral Health Care in School-Based Health Centers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this