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Intimate Partner Violence and Electronic Health Interventions: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Trials

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  • Ditte S Linde
  • Aleksandra Bakiewicz
  • Anne Katrine Normann
  • Nina Beck Hansen
  • Andreas Lundh
  • Vibeke Rasch
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BACKGROUND: Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a major public health concern. eHealth interventions may reduce exposure to violence and health-related consequences as the technology provides a safe and flexible space for the target population. However, the evidence is unclear.

OBJECTIVE: The goal of the review is to examine the effect of eHealth interventions compared with standard care on reducing IPV, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among women exposed to IPV.

METHODS: We searched EMBASE, MEDLINE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, PsycInfo, Scopus, Global Health Library,, and International Clinical Trials Registry Platform for published and unpublished trials from inception until April 2019. Trials with an eHealth intervention targeting women exposed to violence were included. We assessed risk of bias using the Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool. Trials that reported effect estimates on overall IPV; physical, sexual, and psychological violence; depression; or posttraumatic stress disorder were included in meta-analyses.

RESULTS: A total of 14 trials were included in the review; 8 published trials, 3 unpublished trials and 3 ongoing trials. Of the 8 published trials, 2 were judged as overall low risk of bias trials. The trials reported 23 types of outcomes, and 7 of the trials had outcomes that were eligible for meta-analyses. Our pooled analyses found no effect of eHealth interventions on any of our prespecified outcomes: overall IPV (SMD -0.01; 95% CI -0.11 to 0.08; I2=0%; 5 trials, 1668 women); physical violence (SMD 0.01; 95% CI -0.22 to 0.24; I2=58%; 4 trials, 1128 women); psychological violence (SMD 0.07; 95% CI -0.12 to 0.25; I2=40%; 4 trials, 1129 women); sexual violence (MD 0.36; 95% CI -0.18 to 0.91; I2=0%; 2 trials, 1029 women); depression (SMD -0.13; 95% CI -0.37 to 0.11; I2=78%; 5 trials, 1600 women); and PTSD (MD -0.11; 95% CI -1.04 to 0.82; I2=0%; 5 trials, 1267 women).

CONCLUSIONS: There is no evidence from randomized trials of a beneficial effect of eHealth interventions on IPV. More high-quality trials are needed, and we recommend harmonizing outcome reporting in IPV trials by establishing core outcome sets.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: PROSPERO International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews CRD42019130124;

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Medical Internet Research
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)e22361
Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2020

ID: 61502528