Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

MS in Physician Assistant Studies (PA)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Ryane Lester


Introduction: Eighty-eight percent of human trafficking survivors report seeking healthcare while trafficked, yet less than 10% of physicians have been trained to identify human trafficking victims. The United States Department of Health and Human Services acknowledge the serious problem of health professionals lacking the education to identify and treat human trafficking patients. Healthcare providers are missing opportunities to intervene partially because of the barrier to identify human trafficking patients.

Background: Currently, there is no required standard for curriculum on human trafficking. Analysis of pre- and post-survey responses demonstrated a significant increase of confidence in identifying and caring for trafficked patients.

Methods: The goal was to frame a research question that associated human trafficking with health care. The study was then designed to the study to analyze if the implementation of human trafficking education and use of screening tools would result in an increased identification of trafficked patients.

Discussion: All the educational studies discussed demonstrated a lack of consistency in education structure and timing. The need for education and screening tools was highlighted as a significant barrier to care for human trafficking patients. Considering simulated patient learning environments are controlled and interactive, it gives students the opportunity to make errors but develop their skills.

Conclusion: Implementing human trafficking education and screening tools will increase the confidence of providers in identifying trafficked victims and survivors in the healthcare setting. Future studies are needed to quantify the identification of human trafficked victims and survivors in healthcare.


SC 11.PAS.2021.Landeros.Y