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Preferred Communication Methods of Abused Women


Correspondence to:

Heidi Gilroy, Texas Woman's University, College of Nursing, 6700 Fannin St., Houston, TX 77030. E-mail:



To determine preferred communication methods of abused women.

Design and Sample

A naturalistic study utilizing principles of Community Based Participatory Research. A total of 300 first time users of criminal justice or safe shelter for abused women were interviewed in person.


The Preferred Communication Questionnaire was used to determine preference.


Given the choice of phone voice, face to face, phone text, e-mail, or Facebook, traditional methods of communication (face-to-face communication and phone voice) were the primary (80% combined) and secondary (58.6% combined) preferred sources among abused women. A total of 292 women (97.3%) gave at least two preferred methods of communication, 255 (85%) gave three preferred methods, 190 (63%) gave four, and 132 (44%) used all five methods.


Public health nurses and other professionals who serve abused women should be aware of their preferred method of communication for contact. The women in the sample preferred face-to-face and phone-voice communication; however, many were open to newer forms of communication such as texting and Facebook. Caution should be used to protect the safety of abused women when using any kind of communication.