Jeanne E. Hathaway, MD, MPH, is a Research Scientist in the Division of Public Health Practice at the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA.
Perceived Changes in Health and Safety Following Participation in a Health Care–Based Domestic Violence Program
Article first published online: 24 DEC 2010
2008 American College of Nurse Midwives
Journal of Midwifery & Womens Health
Volume 53, Issue 6, pages 547–555, November-December 2008
How to Cite
Hathaway, J. E., Zimmer, B., Willis, G. and Silverman, J. G. (2008), Perceived Changes in Health and Safety Following Participation in a Health Care–Based Domestic Violence Program. Journal of Midwifery & Womens Health, 53: 547–555. doi: 10.1016/j.jmwh.2008.07.008
- Issue published online: 24 DEC 2010
- Article first published online: 24 DEC 2010
- intimate partner violence;
- outcome and process assessment (health care);
- program evaluation;
- spouse abuse (counseling)
This descriptive study explores perceived changes in health and safety and the potential process by which these changes occur. Forty-nine women experiencing intimate partner abuse participated in a health care–based domestic violence (DV) advocacy program for 6 months or more. An analysis of structured interviews in English and Spanish found that the majority of participants perceived positive changes in their personal safety and emotional health because of their involvement in the program. Some participants also perceived improvements in their physical health, unhealthy coping behaviors (e.g., overeating and smoking), and health care following program involvement. Participants' responses suggest a process of change whereby DV advocacy services first contribute to improved safety and emotional health, which then facilitates behavioral changes. Behavioral changes may subsequently contribute to improvements in physical health, which may also benefit emotional health. Longitudinal evaluations are needed to evaluate the impact of DV advocacy and other interventions for partner abuse on women's health and safety over time.