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Public Health Nurses' Responses to Domestic Violence: A Report from the Enhanced Domestic Abuse Intervention Project

Authors

  • Melanie F. Shepard Ph.D.,

    1. Melanie Shepard is Director and Associate Professor, and Dennis Falk is Director of Graduate Studies and Professor, Department of Social Work, Barbara Elliott is Director of Clinical Research and Professor, Department of Family Medicine, and Ronald R. Regal is a Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Minnesota, Duluth, Minnesota.
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  • Barbara A. Elliott Ph.D.,

    1. Melanie Shepard is Director and Associate Professor, and Dennis Falk is Director of Graduate Studies and Professor, Department of Social Work, Barbara Elliott is Director of Clinical Research and Professor, Department of Family Medicine, and Ronald R. Regal is a Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Minnesota, Duluth, Minnesota.
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  • Dennis R. Falk Ph.D.,

    1. Melanie Shepard is Director and Associate Professor, and Dennis Falk is Director of Graduate Studies and Professor, Department of Social Work, Barbara Elliott is Director of Clinical Research and Professor, Department of Family Medicine, and Ronald R. Regal is a Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Minnesota, Duluth, Minnesota.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Ronald R. Regal

    1. Melanie Shepard is Director and Associate Professor, and Dennis Falk is Director of Graduate Studies and Professor, Department of Social Work, Barbara Elliott is Director of Clinical Research and Professor, Department of Family Medicine, and Ronald R. Regal is a Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Minnesota, Duluth, Minnesota.
    Search for more papers by this author

Address correspondence to Melanie F. Shepard, Department of Social Work, 220 Bohannon Hall, University of Minnesota, Duluth, MN 55812. E-mail: mshepard@d.umn.edu

Abstract

Public health nurses (PHNs) can play an important role in the detection of domestic violence. This study examines whether the introduction of a domestic violence assessment protocol by public health nurses in a maternal and child health visiting program increases the identification and referral rates of women experiencing domestic violence. Data collected from case files during the baseline year prior to the initiation of the protocol were compared to case file information after the protocol had been implemented. When the protocol was used, there was a higher rate of identification, although the difference was not statistically significant. Significantly more women, however, were provided with information about domestic violence resources after the protocol was in place, and significantly more women were referred to services in the second year after the protocol had been implemented. This study provides support for the use of a domestic violence protocol to improve the public health nursing response to domestic violence.

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