Violence during pregnancy is a national and global health-related problem. Intimate partner violence significantly increases the risk of maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality. Abused pregnant women are 1.4 times more likely to deliver a preterm or low-birth-weight infant requiring extended and resource-intense care in tertiary settings. Despite the prevalence of intimate partner violence during pregnancy, very little is written about established clinical programs designed to address this problem. This article presents the design, implementation, and evaluation of a nurse-led, evidence-based initiative respected for enhancing the health and safety of abused pregnant women. This interdisciplinary program combines registered nurse case management, the advocacy services of a community-based domestic violence agency, and perinatal care into a seamless continuum of professional services. Program interventions focus on helping clients navigate (1) their perinatal experiences across healthcare settings and (2) the complexities of criminal justice, legal, and social service systems within the community. Program-related data collected and evaluated for performance improvement purposes are discussed, and innovative educational programming is described.
Aurora Abuse Response Services, Aurora Sinai Medical Center (Ms Kramer), and Center for Nursing Research and Practice (Dr Nosbusch), Aurora Health Care, Milwaukee; and Center for Urban Population Health, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison (Ms Rice), Wisconsin.
Corresponding Author: Jane Morgan Nosbusch, PhD, RN, PO Box 640, Thiensville, WI 53092 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This study was funded in part by University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, the Wisconsin Partnership Program, and Office on Violence Against Women, US Department of Justice Assistance (grant no. 2009-WF-AX-0031). The authors thank the following individuals for their valuable contributions to the Safe Mom, Safe Baby initiative: George P. Hinton, FACHE, Chief Administrative Officer, Aurora Sinai Medical Center; Tina C. Mason, MD, MPH, Director of Obstetrical Residency Program, Aurora Sinai Medical Center; Carmen Pitre, Co-Executive Director, Sojourner Family Peace Center; Jackie Tillet, CNM, ND, Manager, Midwifery and Wellness Center, Aurora Sinai Medical Center; Sally Turner, MSN, RN, Director Patient Experience, Aurora Sinai Medical Center; and the caregivers from the Safe Mom, Safe Baby program.
Disclosure: The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.
Submitted for publication: June 28, 2011; accepted for publication: November 22, 2011.