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A Systematic Review on Implementing Education and Training on Trauma-Informed Care to Nurses in Forensic Mental Health Settings

Maguire, Donna MSc1; Taylor, James PhD2

doi: 10.1097/JFN.0000000000000262
Review Articles

Background: Engaging in trauma-informed approaches in nonforensic mental health settings improves therapeutic relationships, promotes healing, promotes posttraumatic growth, improves staff well-being, and fosters hope and empowerment, yet little is known of its influences in forensic settings. This literature review explores trauma-informed education and its training implications for nurses working in forensic mental health.

Method: Using a range of electronic databases, a systematic search of literature was carried out focusing on trauma-informed practice in adult forensic mental health settings. Before searching, predefined inclusion and exclusion criteria were agreed.

Findings: After duplication removal, abstract review, and full screening, nine articles met review criteria for inclusion. A thematic analysis of the literature identified two key themes: “education for trauma-informed practice” and “applying theory into practice.” Each had several subordinate themes.

Implications for Forensic Practice: Organizations and their staff must recognize that operational change and ongoing training will be required. By adopting a trauma-informed approach, forensic mental health nurses can better understand their patients' traumatic experiences, improve their therapeutic relationships, and engage patients in collaborative care. Training in trauma-informed care should start with nurses who will change their personal practice and can support and train their colleagues.

Author Affiliations:1Community Forensic Mental Health Services, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

2School of Health & Life Sciences, University of the West of Scotland.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Correspondence: Donna Maguire, MSc, Community Forensic Mental Health Services, Room 18, 1st Floor, Horseshoe Building, Ayrshire Central Hospital, Kilwinning Road, Irvine, KA12 8SS, Scotland. E-mail:

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal’s Web site (

Received March 27, 2019; Accepted July 27, 2019

© 2019 by the International Association of Forensic Nurses. All rights reserved.
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