Nursing Research

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An Intervention to Increase Safety Behaviors of Abused Women: Results of a Randomized Clinical Trial

McFarlane, Judith; Malecha, Ann; Gist, Julia; Watson, Kathy; Batten, Elizabeth; Hall, Iva; Smith, Sheila

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Abstract

Background: Although intimate partner violence is recognized as a major threat to women’s health, few interventions have been developed or tested.

Objective: To test an intervention administered to abused women in order to increase safety-seeking behaviors.

Method: A two-group clinical trial randomized 75 abused women to receive six telephone intervention sessions on safety behaviors. A control group of 75 women received standard care. Women in both groups were re-interviewed at 3 months and 6 months post-initial measurement.

Results: Using repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA), we found significantly [F (2,146) 5.11, p = .007] more adopted safety behaviors reported by women in the intervention group than by women in the control group at both the 3-month [F (91,74) = 19.70, p < .001] and 6-month [F (1,74) = 15.90, p < .001] interviews. The effect size (ES) of the intervention was large at 3 months (ES = 1.5) and remained substantial at 6 months (ES = 0.56).

Discussion: These findings demonstrate that an intervention to increase safety behaviors of abused women is highly effective when offered following an abusive incident and remains effective for 6 months.

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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