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Obstet Gynecol. 2010 Feb;115(2 Pt 1):273-83. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e3181cbd482.

An integrated intervention to reduce intimate partner violence in pregnancy: a randomized controlled trial.

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  • 1Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda, Maryland 20852-7510, USA.

Erratum in

  • Obstet Gynecol. 2011 May;117(5):1232. Blake, Susan M [added].



To estimate the efficacy of a psycho-behavioral intervention in reducing intimate partner violence recurrence during pregnancy and postpartum and in improving birth outcomes in African-American women.


We conducted a randomized controlled trial for which 1,044 women were recruited. Women were randomly assigned to receive either intervention (n=521) or usual care (n=523). Individually tailored counseling sessions were adapted from evidence-based interventions for intimate partner violence and other risks. Logistic regression was used to model intimate partner violence victimization recurrence and to predict minor, severe, physical, and sexual intimate partner violence.


Women randomly assigned to the intervention group were less likely to have recurrent episodes of intimate partner violence victimization (odds ratio [OR] 0.48, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.29-0.80). Women with minor intimate partner violence were significantly less likely to experience further episodes during pregnancy (OR 0.48, 95% CI 0.26-0.86, OR 0.53, 95% CI 0.28-0.99) and postpartum (OR 0.56, 95% CI 0.34-0.93). Numbers needed to treat were 17, 12, and 22, respectively, as compared with the usual care group. Women with severe intimate partner violence showed significantly reduced episodes postpartum (OR 0.39, 95% CI 0.18-0.82); the number needed to treat was 27. Women who experienced physical intimate partner violence showed significant reduction at the first follow-up (OR 0.49, 95% CI 0.27-0.91) and postpartum (OR 0.47, 95% CI 0.27-0.82); the numbers needed to treat were 18 and 20, respectively. Women in the intervention group had significantly fewer very preterm neonates (1.5% intervention group, 6.6% usual care group; P=.03) and an increased mean gestational age (38.2+/-3.3 intervention group, 36.9+/-5.9 usual care group; P=.016).


A relatively brief intervention during pregnancy had discernible effects on intimate partner violence and pregnancy outcomes. Screening for intimate partner violence as well as other psychosocial and behavioral risks and incorporating similar interventions in prenatal care is strongly recommended.




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