Telephone Intervention to Increase Safety in Abused Women

2014-08-27 03:39:16 | BioPortfolio


Although abuse by an intimate partner is very common and has serious negative effects on women's health, few studies have been done to test ways to increase safety for women in abusive relationships. This study will test a telephone intervention for women who report physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse within the past 12 months, to see if

- women use more safety behaviors and access more community resources

- chronic pain, fatigue, depressive, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms affect a women’s ability to use safety behaviors and access community resources.


Women who experience intimate partner violence (IPV) are at increased risk for serious long term negative health sequelae, injury, and death. Compared to non-abused women, intimately abused women suffer significantly greater prevalence of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as a host of nonspecific physical symptoms including chronic pain and fatigue (Campbell, 2002; Golding, 1999; Asmundson, Coons, Taylor, & Katz, 2002; Ehlert, Gaab, & Heinrichs, 2001; Green, Baker, Sato, Washington, & Smith, 2003; Woods, 2004). These increased negative health problems contribute to a greater prevalence of IPV among primary care patients, with current (past year) IPV rates of 15 – 28%, compared to 1.5% to 3% in epidemiologic surveys (Bauer, Rodruguez, Perez-Stable, 2000; Coker, et al., 2000; Collins, et al.,1998; Kramer, Lorenzon, Mueller, 2004; Richardson, et al., 2002; Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000). In spite of this high prevalence and serious negative health sequelae, a recent review of interventions for IPV concluded that there is a serious lack of evidence-based approaches in the primary care setting. No studies were identified that examined the effect of physical and mental health symptoms on the ability to access resources or to increase safety promoting behaviors. This intervention pilot study will speak to this gap in the research. Utilizing a randomized controlled clinical trial design, we will follow women who screen positive for current (past year) IPV at a primary care clinic in Baltimore, MD. Women in the control group will receive usual care consisting of a list of community resources for IPV. Women in the a nurse-managed/community health worker intervention group will receive usual care augmented by an individualized counseling session followed by a series of 6 telephone calls over 10 weeks. A woman’s stage of readiness for change as well as symptoms of pain, fatigue, depression, and PTSD will be evaluated as barriers to resource access and safety behavior initiation.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Active Control, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment


Intimate Partner Violence


Nurse/community health worker telephone intervention


The Shepherd's Clinic
United States




Johns Hopkins University

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:39:16-0400

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A pattern of assaultive and coercive behavior by an individual against their partner or spouse that may include physical injury, psychological abuse, sexual assault, progressive isolation, stalking, deprivation, intimidation, and reproductive coercion.

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