FVPF eJournal
Futures Without Violence eJournal
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Advancing the Research Agenda

The findings from rigorous evaluation studies that were presented at the Fifth National Conference on Health and Domestic Violence signaled significant progress in addressing gaps in our knowledge and advancing the research agenda on domestic violence.  Presentations on studies using randomized controlled trial and quasi-experimental study designs included:

Domestic Violence Enhanced Home Visitation Project (DOVE)

Drs. Phyllis Sharps and Linda Bullock are conducting a randomized controlled trial of a community nurse home visitation program that is designed to reduce intimate partner violence (IPV) against pregnant women.  The study population is pregnant women currently experiencing IPV.  The intervention group receives three prenatal and three postpartum home visits by a community health nurse.  These services are being evaluated in urban and rural settings using home visitors with a variety of educational backgrounds including a small sample of subjects participating in the Family Nurse Partnership program. Research follow-up of mothers and infants will continue until the infant is two years old.

Women’s Evaluation of Abuse and Violence Care in General Practice (WEAVE)

Dr. Kelsey Hegarty and a team of researchers are conducting a cluster randomized controlled trial with 40 general practitioners (GP) in Victoria, Australia.  Female patients of each general practitioner are screened for being afraid of their partner at baseline.  GPs in the intervention receive an eight-hour training on healthy relationships and intimate partner violence (IPV) management, and their female patients disclosing fear of a partner or ex-partner are invited for brief counseling by the GP.  Outcome measures at six- and twelve-month follow-up include quality of life, safe behaviors, and psychological wellbeing.

Primary Care Identification and Referral to Improve Safety of Women Experiencing Domestic Abuse (IRIS)

Dr. Gene Feder shared preliminary results from IRIS, a cluster randomized controlled trial with 48 practices in the United Kingdom to evaluate the impact of a training and support program for family practice teams to improve identification and referral of patients experiencing intimate partner violence. This multi-faceted intervention included training for health care providers, medical record prompts to ask about and document abuse, identifying “champions” within practices, and specifying simple referral pathways to IPV advocates and signposting services for men who disclosed victimization and children exposed to violence.  Statistically significant increases in identification and referral rates for intervention practices were reported.  Future analyses will look at cost effectiveness and predictive factors for intervention practices with increased identification and referral rates.

Evaluation of a Permanent Housing Intervention for Abuse Women and Children (SHARE)

Drs. Nancy Glass and Chiquita Rollins presented data from their longitudinal, quasi-experimental study comparing the effectiveness of rental assistance for a permanent housing intervention with other housing services offered to intimate partner violence survivors who are leaving abusive relationships.  Study outcomes over the 18-month follow-up period include re-victimization, survivors’ mental and physical health, housing stability, and utilization of health, police, and social services.  The co-investigators developed a housing instability index that includes risks such as frequent moves, living somewhere that she did not want to leave, and trouble with a landlord, often related to an abuser’s interference.  Housing instability was significantly correlated with increase risk for depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and women’s risk for lethal violence.