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Trauma-informed design of supported housing: a scoping review through the lens of neuroscience


Owen, C and Crane, J, Trauma-informed design of supported housing: a scoping review through the lens of neuroscience, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19, (21) Article 14279. ISSN 1660-4601 (2022) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

Copyright: 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license

DOI: doi:10.3390/ijerph192114279


There is growing recognition of the importance of the design of the built environment in supporting mental health. In this context, trauma-informed design has emerged as a new field of practice targeting the design of the built environment to support wellbeing and ameliorate the physical, psychological and emotional impacts of trauma and related pathologies such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). With high levels of prevalence of PTSD among people escaping homelessness and domestic violence, a priority area is the identification and application of evidence-based design solutions for trauma-informed supported housing. This study sought to examine the scope of existing evidence on the relationship between trauma, housing and design and the correlation of this evidence with trauma-informed design principles, and to identify gaps and opportunities for future research. In response to the commonly articulated limitations of the evidence-base in built environment design research, we combined a scoping review of literature on trauma, housing and design with insights from neuroscience to focus and extend understanding of the opportunities of trauma-informed design. We found that while limited in scope, there is strong alignment between existing evidence and the principles of trauma-informed design. We also identify three areas of future research related to the key domains of safety and security; control; and enriched environments.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:trauma-informed design, neuroscience, architecture, domestic violence, homelessness, housing
Research Division:Built Environment and Design
Research Group:Architecture
Research Field:Architectural design
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Mental health
UTAS Author:Owen, C (Associate Professor Ceridwen Owen)
UTAS Author:Crane, J (Dr James Crane)
ID Code:154140
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:Architecture and Design
Deposited On:2022-11-02
Last Modified:2022-12-08
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