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Psychological advocacy towards healing (PATH): a randomized controlled trial of a psychological intervention in a domestic violence service setting

Ferrari, Giulia, Feder, Gene, Agnew-Davies, Roxane, Bailey, Jayne E., Hollinghurst, Sandra, Howard, Louise, Howarth, Emma, Sardinha, Lynnmarie, Sharp, Debbie and Peters, Tim J. (2018) Psychological advocacy towards healing (PATH): a randomized controlled trial of a psychological intervention in a domestic violence service setting. PLOS ONE, 13 (11). ISSN 1932-6203

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Identification Number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0205485

Abstract

Background Experience of domestic violence and abuse (DVA) is associated with mental illness. Advocacy has little effect on mental health outcomes of female DVA survivors and there is uncertainty about the effectiveness of psychological interventions for this population. Objective To test effectiveness of a psychological intervention delivered by advocates to DVA survivors. Design, masking, setting, participants Pragmatic parallel group individually randomized controlled trial of normal DVA advocacy vs. advocacy + psychological intervention. Statistician and researchers blinded to group assignment. Setting: specialist DVA agencies; two UK cities. Participants: Women aged 16 years and older accessing DVA services. Intervention Eight specialist psychological advocacy (SPA) sessions with two follow up sessions. Measurements Primary outcomes at 12 months: depression symptoms (PHQ-9) and psychological distress (CORE-OM). Primary analysis: intention to treat linear (logistic) regression model for continuous (binary) outcomes. Results 263 women recruited (78 in shelter/refuge, 185 in community), 2 withdrew (1 community, control group; 1 intervention, refuge group), 1 was excluded from the study for protocol violation (community, control group), 130 in intervention and 130 in control groups. Recruitment ended June 2013. 12-month follow up: 64%. At 12-month follow up greater improvement in mental health of women in the intervention group. Difference in average CORE-OM score between intervention and control groups: -3.3 points (95% CI -5.5 to -1.2). Difference in average PHQ-9 score between intervention and control group: -2.2 (95% CI -4.1 to -0.3). At 12 months, 35% of the intervention group and 55% of the control group were above the CORE-OM -2clinical threshold (OR 0.32, 95% CI 0.16 to 0.64); 29% of the intervention group and 46% of the control group were above the PHQ-9 clinical threshold (OR 0.41, 95% CI 0.21 to 0.81), Limitations 64% retention at 12 months Conclusions An eight-session psychological intervention delivered by DVA advocates produced clinically relevant improvement in mental health outcomes compared with normal advocacy care.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/
Additional Information: © 2018 The Authors
Divisions: Economics
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2020 11:12
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2020 02:57
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/103643

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