Effect of Nurse Home Visits vs. Usual Care on Reducing Intimate Partner Violence in Young High-Risk Pregnant Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial

J. Mejdoubi, S.C.C.M. van den Heijkant, F.J.M. van Leerdam, M.W. Heymans, R.A. Hirasing, A.A.M. Crijnen

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Background:Expectant mothers and mothers of young children are especially vulnerable to intimate partner violence (IPV). The nurse-family partnership (NFP) is a home visitation program in the United States effective for the prevention of adverse child health outcomes. Evidence regarding the effect of nurse home visiting on IPV is inconsistent. This study aims to study the effect of VoorZorg, the Dutch NFP, on IPV.Methods:A random sample of 460 eligible disadvantaged women <26 years, with no previous live births, was randomized. Women in the control group (C; n=223) received usual care; women in the intervention group (I; n=237) received usual care plus nurse home visits periodically during pregnancy and until the child's second birthday.Results:At 32 weeks of pregnancy, women in the intervention group self-reported significantly less IPV victimization than women in the control group in: level 2 psychological aggression (C: 56% vs. I: 39%), physical assault level 1 (C: 58% vs. I: 40%) and level 2 (C: 31% vs. I: 20%), and level 1 sexual coercion (C: 16% vs. I: 8%). Furthermore, women in the intervention group reported significantly less IPV perpetration in: level 2 psychological aggression (C: 60% vs. I: 46%), level 1 physical assault (C: 65% vs. I: 52%), and level 1 injury (C: 27% vs. I: 17%). At 24 months after birth, IPV victimization was significantly lower in the intervention group for level 1 physical assault (C: 44% vs. I: 26%), and IPV perpetration was significantly lower for level 1 sexual assault (C: 18% vs. I: 3%). Multilevel analyses showed a significant improvement in IPV victimization and perpetration among women in the intervention group at 24 months after birth.Conclusion:VoorZorg, compared with the usual care, is effective in reducing IPV during pregnancy and in the two years after birth among young high-risk women.Trial Registration:Dutch Trial Register NTR854 http://www.trialregister.nl/trialreg/admin/rctview.asp?TC=854. © 2013 Mejdoubi et al.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere78185
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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