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Partner Abuse. 2013 Oct 1;4(4):482-493.

Methods for Assessing and Addressing Participant Protection Concerns in Intimate Partner Violence Research.

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Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina, USA.
Research Institute on Addictions, Buffalo, New York, USA.


Research on intimate partner violence (IPV) is highly sensitive and may put some participants at increased psychological, emotional, and physical risk. Still, we know little about the risks posed by most social science methods and have minimal guidance regarding appropriate practices for carrying out various forms of research. This study collected data from 59 IPV researchers regarding the most commonly used participant protection methods, the efficacy of those methods, number and nature of adverse events (AE) experienced, and experiences with institutional review boards (IRBs). Participants were invited via e-mail to complete an anonymous online survey. Findings indicate an overall low incidence of AEs as well as a minimal relationship between AEs and IPV inquiry. These findings may provide researchers with preliminary data on the effectiveness of various participant protection methods. Results may also facilitate more innovative and effective participant protections measures, help researchers prevent and cope with AE, and create more mutually beneficial relationships with IRBs.


IRB; human subjects concerns; intimate partner violence; research

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