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Healing Hurt People Evaluation

Healing Hurt People Philadelphia logo

In addition to the replication of the program, Healing Hurt People (HHP) is conducting a multi-site evaluation to better understand the effects of the program on the trajectory of clients’ lives and healing processes. HHP is examining the primary outcomes of arrest for violent crime, mortality and hospital recidivism for violent re-injury for HHP eligible/enrolled young people ages 18-30 years old seen in an emergency department (ED) for an intentional injury. Secondary outcomes include posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), sleep quality and depression (see the link below for full list of measures).

Our research design exchanges traditional randomized-control groups, which, by definition would withhold HHP from some in need, for what we feel to be a more ethically sound step-wedge design. This design allows us to collect control groups of 45 participants each at HHP replication sites Temple University Hospital (TUH), Pennsylvania-Presbyterian Medical Center (Penn-Presby) and Einstein Medical Center (EMC) prior to their program launch. Since HHP’s flagship site at Hahnemann University Hospital (HUH) has been in existence since 2007, HUH will not collect a control group. This design also adapts well to unique conditions at each ED. Through collaboration with an existing ED-based observational study for African American men, a substudy using an additional 45 all male, age/injury-matched control participants evaluated on similar measures will also be collected at Penn-Presby.

Recruitment for controls groups at EMC and TUH are complete and intervention groups at Penn-Presby, TUH, HUH and EMC are in process. As of February 2017, 58% of the 225 participants needed to complete the study have been enrolled. Preliminary analysis shows:

  • A positive correlation between poor sleep quality and PTSD and poor sleep quality and depression (see link to abstract presented at the annual meeting of American Public Health Association October, 2016 below)
  • A larger percent improvement in PTSD at six weeks and sleep quality at six months for HHP participants compared to the control group

Full list of primary and secondary HHP multi-site evaluation measures [PDF]