By David Lee on February 2, 2010 · tagged as , , ,

Home visits to prevent domestic violence

In this recently published study in the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, the researchers found a home visiting program to reduce intimate partner violence.

Note: this study uses the Conflict Tactics Scale. Some researchers have concerns about that tool.

The full citation and abstract follow the jump.

Reducing maternal intimate partner violence after the birth of a child: a randomized controlled trial of the Hawaii healthy start home visitation program.

Bair-Merritt MH, Jennings JM, Chen R, Burrell L, McFarlane E, Fuddy L, Duggan AK. Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine 2010; 164(1): 16-23.

Click here for a link to the abstract on the journal’s web site.

(Copyright © 2010, American Medical Association)

OBJECTIVES: To estimate whether home visitation beginning after childbirth was associated with changes in average rates of mothers’ intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization and perpetration as well as rates of specific IPV types (physical assault, verbal abuse, sexual assault, and injury) during the 3 years of program implementation and during 3 years of long-term follow-up.

DESIGN: Randomized controlled trial.

SETTING: Oahu, Hawaii.

PARTICIPANTS: Six hundred forty-three families with an infant at high risk for child maltreatment born between November 1994 and December 1995. Intervention Home visitors provided direct services and linked families to community resources. Home visits were to initially occur weekly and to continue for at least 3 years.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Women’s self-reports of past-year IPV victimization and perpetration using the Conflict Tactics Scale. Blinded research staff conducted maternal interviews following the child’s birth and annually when children were aged 1 to 3 years and then 7 to 9 years.

RESULTS: During program implementation, intervention mothers as compared with control mothers reported lower rates of IPV victimization (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 0.86; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.73-1.01) and significantly lower rates of perpetration (IRR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.72-0.96). Considering specific IPV types, intervention women reported significantly lower rates of physical assault victimization (IRR, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.71-1.00) and perpetration (IRR, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.70-0.96). During long-term follow-up, rates of overall IPV victimization and perpetration decreased, with nonsignificant between-group differences. Verbal abuse victimization rates (IRR, 1.14, 95% CI, 0.97-1.34) may have increased among intervention mothers.

CONCLUSION: Early-childhood home visitation may be a promising strategy for reducing IPV.

David Lee

More Posts by David Lee

David S. Lee, MPH, is the Director of Prevention Services at the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault where he provides training and technical assistance on prevention. David manages the national project PreventConnect, an online community of violence against women prevention practitioners, funders, researchers and activists. For over 27 years David has worked in efforts to end domestic violence and sexual assault.

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