Effects of an intervention program for female victims of intimate partner violence on psychological symptoms and perceived social support

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Abstract

? 2014 Nina B. Hansen et al.Objective: The present study examined the effects of a specific three-phase intervention program for female victims of IPV on psychological symptoms (PTSD, anxiety, and depression) and perceived social support. Given that many of the women dropped out before and during the intervention program, potential differences in initial levels of psychological symptoms, perceived social support, as well as descriptive variables were explored between the women who completed the whole program and the groups of women who dropped out prematurely.Background: Research has documented severe mental health problems in female victims of intimate partner violence (IPV). Therefore, providing effective treatment is pivotal. Few studies have investigated the effects of intervention programs on reducing the harmful consequences of IPV.Method: The initial sample consisted of 212 female victims of IPV. Symptoms of PTSD, depression, anxiety, and level of perceived social support were measured with validated scales before the start of the intervention and after completion of each treatment phase.Results: Results showed a significant effect of the intervention program on reducing psychological symptoms and increasing levels of perceived social support. Effect sizes ranged from medium to very high. Significant positive effects were found for each of the treatment phases. There were no significant differences between the women who completed the whole program and those women who dropped out prematurely in terms of initial level of symptoms and perceived social support as well as descriptive characteristics.Conclusions: Specifically developed intervention programs for female victims of IPV are effective in reducing the harmful personal consequences of IPV. Future studies should consider employing controlled study designs and address the issue of high drop out rates found in intervention studies.

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Hansen, N. B., Eriksen, S. B., & Elklit, A. (2014). Effects of an intervention program for female victims of intimate partner violence on psychological symptoms and perceived social support. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 5. https://doi.org/10.3402/ejpt.v5.24797

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