Funded in 1998 by the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the District of Columbia Trauma Collaboration Study was part of a multi-site national research effort to examine the effectiveness of services for women trauma survivors with mental health and substance abuse problems. In the first two years of the project, we developed a comprehensive, integrated, trauma-focused network of services. Beginning in the fall of 2000, a three-year quasi-experimental research project began to assess the impact of the key intervention components: Integrated Trauma Services Teams (ITSTs) and Trauma Recovery and Empowerment Model (TREM) groups.
Community Connections partnered with a research team from the New Hampshire-Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center (PRC) to evaluate the effectiveness of our approach by comparing participant outcomes for the ITST network in Washington, DC to those for agencies serving a similar population of women in Baltimore. Based on the principles of the Trauma Recovery and Empowerment Model (TREM) developed at CC, ITSTs provided an integrated, comprehensive package of services, included consumer/survivor/recovering persons (C/S/Rs) in central roles, and were responsive to issues of gender and culture. Each project enrollee participated in a 33-session TREM group, a fully manualized and clinically tested approach to work with women abuse survivors, and used a parallel self-help workbook. TREM is explicitly integrative, addressing the relationships among trauma, mental health, and substance abuse concerns. Project C/S/Rs developed and offered a variety of peer-run services, including a Peer Representative program providing support, companionship, and advocacy.
In order to examine the effectiveness of this approach, focused on TREM, the primary contrast between the two sites, we compared core outcomes (trauma-related and mental health symptom reduction; substance abuse reduction) for participants in this Integrated Condition to those for women receiving services in a Usual Services Condition involving two Baltimore mental health agencies. Preliminary findings indicate that that there were significant advantages for women in the TREM/ITST condition in several areas, including posttraumatic stress symptom reduction; overall mental health symptom reduction; and alcohol and other drug use severity.
For more information, contact Roger D. Fallot, Ph.D., Principal Investigator
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