Using a short-term study abroad program to teach trauma-focused care: design, implementation, and findings

Amanda Dishon Brown*, Dorea Glance, Linda Ault, Martin Kettle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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The literature identifies the need for trauma training and education in Master of Social Work (MSW) programs as social workers encounter a number of clients with trauma histories. Scant research exists that details the utilization of a short-term study abroad programs (STSA) to teach trauma training and education to MSW students. As such, a mid-eastern U.S. social work program collaborated with a social work program in Scotland to construct a STSA program for MSW students learning trauma-focused care (TFC). To enhance learning, this trip also included master’s level counseling students from the same U.S. university. Pre and post- test survey data were collected from students regarding trauma knowledge and counseling skills as well as self-efficacy. Mann Whitney-U tests with Bonferroni’s adjusted significance level were utilized. Results indicated a significant difference (z=-2.896, p=.004) regarding trauma knowledge. Although results of the Mann Whitney- U test indicated a non-significant difference in pre-post test data regarding the trauma counseling skills subscale (z= -2.779, p= .005), two measures were significant when examined independently. The current findings suggest that STSA programs may be an effective tool for student learning specifically related to TFC. Limitations, strengths, and implications regarding the content covered and the process of designing and implementing the STSA are explored.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-40
Number of pages9
JournalKentucky Journal of Excellence in College Teaching and Learning
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • trauma-focused care, study-abroad, case-based learning


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