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J Adv Nurs. 2011 Dec;67(12):2741-53. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2011.05749.x. Epub 2011 Jun 24.

A model to advance nursing science in trauma practice and injury outcomes research.

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  • 1Division of Biobehavioral & Health Sciences School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.



This discussion paper reports development of a model to advance nursing science and practice in trauma care based on an analysis of the literature and expert opinion.


The continuum of clinical care provided to trauma patients extends from the time of injury through to long-term recovery and final outcomes. Nurses bring a unique expertise to meet the complex physical and psychosocial needs of trauma patients and their families to influence outcomes across this entire continuum.


Literature was obtained by searching CINAHL, PubMed and OvidMedline databases for 1990-2010. Search terms included trauma, nursing, scope of practice and role, with results restricted to those published in English. Manual searches of relevant journals and websites were undertaken.


Core concepts in this trauma outcomes model include environment, person/family, structured care settings, long-term outcomes and nursing interventions. The relationships between each of these concepts extend across all phases of care. Intermediate outcomes are achieved in each phase of care and influence and have congruence with long-term outcomes. Implications for policy and practice.  This model is intended to provide a framework to assist trauma nurses and researchers to consider the injured person in the context of the social, economic, cultural and physical environment from which they come and the long-term goals that each person has during recovery. The entire model requires testing in research and assessment of its practical contribution to practice.


Planning and integrating care across the trauma continuum and recognition of the role of the injured person's background, family and resources will lead to improved long-term outcomes.

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