Implementing Trauma Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (T-SBIRT) within Employment Services: A Feasibility Trial
Research suggests that low-income adults accessing employment services have experienced high levels of trauma exposure and associated consequences. Moreover, the health-related effects of trauma undermine employment and employability. A trauma-informed protocol-trauma screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment or T-SBIRT-was therefore implemented within employment service programs serving low-income urban residents. To assess the feasibility of integrating T-SBIRT within employment services, five domains were explored as follows: suitability, acceptability, client adherence, provider adherence or fidelity, and intended outcomes. With a sample of low-income adults (N = 83), the study revealed that T-SBIRT is suitable for employment service participants given high rates of trauma exposure (90.4% experienced two or more lifetime traumas), along with high rates of positive screening results for post-traumatic stress disorder (48.8%), major depression (35.4%), and generalized anxiety (47.6%). Study participants appeared to find T-SBIRT acceptable as evidenced by an 83% acceptance rate. All participants accepting T-SBIRT services completed them, revealing strong client adherence. Provider adherence or model fidelity was high, that is, 98.5%. Finally, the majority of participants accepted a referral to a mental health care (i.e., 56.6%), and over three-quarters accepted a referral to any outside service including primary or mental health care. Implications of findings are discussed.
Topitzes, J., Mersky, J. P., Mueller, D. J., Bacalso, E., & Williams, C. (2019). Implementing Trauma Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (T-SBIRT) within Employment Services: A Feasibility Trial. Am J Community Psychol. doi:10.1002/ajcp.12361