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Invited Commentary
November 20, 2019

Long-term Consequences in Trauma: At the Center of the Public Health Approach Is the Survivor’s Voice

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgery, UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles)–Geffen School of Medicine
  • 2Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis
JAMA Surg. 2020;155(1):59-60. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2019.4560

The coordinated chaos of the trauma team’s response to the patient who has experienced violence is urgent and measured, influenced by the science of injury and the principles of public health. Still nothing resonates as deeply as the voice of the survivor, the cornerstone in understanding the long-term consequences of violence.

Penetrating more deeply than radiography, the patient narrative opens a window into forces of health inequity hidden within the otherwise invisible structural and social determinants of health.1 In healing violence through hospital-based intervention work, an intervention specialist depends on the victim’s words, reporting needs to address root causes of violence.

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