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Keywords:

  • intimate partner violence;
  • Hispanic American;
  • pregnancy;
  • prenatal care;
  • violence;
  • women's health services;
  • interventions

Prevention of abuse to women is a national priority; however, research has focused on identification of abuse rather than evaluating interventions. To evaluate the differential effectiveness of three levels of intervention, Brief, Counseling, and Outreach, a longitudinal study with repeated evaluation interviews at 2-, 6-, 12-, and 18-months postdelivery was completed at two urban public health prenatal clinics. The participants were 329 pregnant, physically abused Hispanic women. Both physical abuse and women's use of community resources were measured. Repeated measures ANOVA showed that severity of abuse decreased significantly (p < 0.001) across time for all intervention groups. Violence scores at 2-months postdelivery were significantly lower for the Outreach group (p < 0.05) compared to the Counseling only group, but not significantly lower than the Brief intervention group. At 6-, 12-, and 18-month follow-up there were no statistically significant differences among the intervention groups. The use of lay outreach for abused pregnant women merits further research. Abuse screening by itself, however, may be the most effective intervention to prevent abuse to pregnant women.