SAGE Journals

Web-Based and mHealth Interventions for Intimate Partner Violence Victimization Prevention: A Systematic Review

Posted on 2019-11-20 - 13:06

Mobile health (mHealth) technologies are increasingly used across health programming including intimate partner violence (IPV) prevention to optimize screening, educational outreach, and linkages to care via telehealth. We systematically evaluated current web-based and mHealth interventions, which include web- or mobile-based delivery methods for primary, secondary, and tertiary IPV victimization prevention. We searched MEDLINE/PubMed, Embase, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Open Grey, and Google Scholar for empirical studies published 1998–2019. Studies were included if they considered empirical data, participants in adult romantic relationships, IPV as a primary or secondary outcome, and an mHealth component. The Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool was used to record critical ratings of quality among studies selected for inclusion. We assessed variation in targeted populations, types of IPV addressed, and mHealth approaches used. Of 133 studies identified for full-text review, 31 were included. Computer-based screening with or without integrated education was the most common mHealth approach (n = 8, 26%), followed by safety decision aids (n = 7, 23%). Feasibility and acceptability were found to be generally high where assessed (23% of studies, n = 7). There was limited evidence around whether mHealth interventions better addressed population needs compared to conventional interventions. mHealth tools for IPV prevention are especially acceptable in health-care settings, on mobile phone platforms, or when connecting victims to health care. Despite enthusiasm in pilot projects, evidence for efficacy compared to conventional IPV prevention approaches is limited. A major strength of mHealth IPV prevention programming is the ability to tailor interventions to individual victim needs without extensive human resource expenditure by providers.


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Trauma, Violence, & Abuse


Elizabeth J. Anderson
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