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Human Trafficking: The Role of the Health Care Provider


  • Tiffany Dovydaitis RN, WHCNP

    Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Tiffany Dovydaitis, RN, WHCNP, is a Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA predoctoral fellow in the Center for Health Equity Research at The University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. Her research interests include women's health, immigrant health, and sexual violence.

Address correspondence to Tiffany Dovydaitis, RN, WHCNP, T32 Doctoral Fellow, The University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Center for Health Equity Research, Claire M. Fagin Hall, 418 Curie Blvd., Floor 2L, Philadelphia, PA 19104-4217.


Human trafficking is a major public health problem, both domestically and internationally. Health care providers are often the only professionals to interact with trafficking victims who are still in captivity. The expert assessment and interview skills of providers contribute to their readiness to identify victims of trafficking. The purpose of this article is to provide clinicians with knowledge on trafficking and give specific tools that they may use to assist victims in the clinical setting. Definitions, statistics, and common health care problems of trafficking victims are reviewed. The role of the health care provider is outlined through a case study and clinical practice tools are provided. Suggestions for future research are also briefly addressed.