Publications by authors named "Gemma Halliwell"

5 Publications

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ADVANCE integrated group intervention to address both substance use and intimate partner abuse perpetration by men in substance use treatment: a feasibility randomised controlled trial.

BMC Public Health 2021 05 25;21(1):980. Epub 2021 May 25.

Department of Biostatistics and Health Informatics, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London, De Crespigny Park, London, SE5 8AF, UK.

Background: Substance use is a risk factor for intimate partner abuse (IPA) perpetration. Delivering perpetrator interventions concurrently with substance use treatment shows promise.

Methods: The feasibility of conducting an efficacy and cost-effectiveness trial of the ADVANCE 16-week intervention to reduce IPA by men in substance use treatment was explored. A multicentre, parallel group individually randomised controlled feasibility trial and formative evaluation was conducted. Over three temporal cycles, 104 men who had perpetrated IPA towards a female (ex) partner in the past year were randomly allocated to receive the ADVANCE intervention + substance use treatment as usual (TAU) (n = 54) or TAU only (n = 50) and assessed 16-weeks post-randomisation. Participants' (ex) partners were offered support and 27 provided outcome data. Thirty-one staff and 12 men who attended the intervention participated in focus groups or interviews that were analysed using the framework approach. Pre-specified criteria assessed the feasibility of progression to a definitive trial: 1) ≥ 60% of eligible male participants recruited; 2) intervention acceptable to staff and male participants; 3) ≥ 70% of participants followed-up and 4) levels of substance use and 5) IPA perpetrated by men in the intervention arm did not increase from average baseline level at 16-weeks post-randomisation.

Results: 70.7% (104/147) of eligible men were recruited. The formative evaluation confirmed the intervention's acceptability. Therapeutic alliance and session satisfaction were rated highly. The overall median rate of intervention session attendance (of 14 compulsory sessions) was 28.6% (range 14.3-64.3% by the third cycle). 49.0% (51/104) of men and 63.0% (17/27) of their (ex) partners were followed-up 16-weeks post-randomisation. This increased to 100% of men and women by cycle three. At follow-up, neither substance use nor IPA perpetration had worsened for men in the intervention arm.

Conclusions: It was feasible to deliver the ADVANCE intervention in substance use treatment services, although it proved difficult to collect data from female (ex)partners. While some progression criteria were met, others were not, although improvements were demonstrated by the third cycle. Lessons learned will be implemented into the study design for a definitive trial of the ADVANCE intervention.

Trial Registration: ISRCTN79435190 prospectively registered 22nd May 2018.
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May 2021

Perspectives on Motivation and Change in an Intervention for Men Who Use Substances and Perpetrate Intimate Partner Abuse: Findings From a Qualitative Evaluation of the Advance Intervention.

J Interpers Violence 2021 Mar 9:886260521997436. Epub 2021 Mar 9.

King's College London, UK.

Despite consistent evidence that substance use is a contributory risk factor for perpetration of intimate partner abuse (IPA), little evidence exists for effective interventions for male IPA perpetrators who use substances. The Advance intervention aimed to meet this need. This 16-week intervention addressed both IPA and substance use, and was for men accessing substance use treatment who had perpetrated IPA toward a female (ex-)partner within the last 12 months. Two key theories underpinned the intervention: goal theory and self-regulation theory. In this article, we aim to illustrate the views of men and substance use treatment staff on men's motivations to change, the ways in which men and staff said that men had changed their behavior, and the aspects of the intervention that they reported were key in the process of change. Using framework analysis, we analyzed data from 12 men who took part in the intervention as well as 31 staff members from substance use treatment services. Our five overarching themes were personal goal setting and motivation; recognition of IPA and the substance using lifestyle; improved self-regulation; considering the impact on others; and learning together in a group. Men and staff valued having a program that integrated IPA and substance use and thought the program was unique and much needed. Moreover, our findings suggest that goal theory, self-regulation, and more broadly, motivational and strengths-based approaches with practice-based activities, may be beneficial for effecting change in the substance using perpetrator population. However, further research is needed to determine the effectiveness of the intervention. Overall, our findings highlight the value of using qualitative outcome measures of perpetrator programs to complement quantitative measures of impact.
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March 2021

A study protocol to assess the feasibility of conducting an evaluation trial of the ADVANCE integrated intervention to address both substance use and intimate partner abuse perpetration to men in substance use treatment.

Pilot Feasibility Stud 2020 11;6:62. Epub 2020 May 11.

9School of Health in Social Science, University of Edinburgh, 8-9 Hope Park Square, Edinburgh, 8HQ 9NW UK.

Background: Strong evidence exists that substance use is a contributory risk factor for intimate partner abuse (IPA) perpetration. Men in substance use treatment are more likely to perpetrate IPA than men from the general population. Despite this, referral pathways are lacking for this group. This trial will assess the feasibility of conducting an evaluation trial of a tailored integrated intervention to address substance use and IPA perpetration to men in substance use treatment.

Methods/design: ADVANCE is a multicentre, parallel-group individually randomised controlled feasibility trial, with a nested formative evaluation, comparing an integrated intervention to reduce IPA + substance use treatment as usual (TAU) to TAU only. One hundred and eight men who have perpetrated IPA in the past 12 months from community substance use treatment in London, the West Midlands, and the South West will be recruited. ADVANCE is a manualised intervention comprising 2-4 individual sessions (2 compulsory) with a keyworker to set goals, develop a personal safety plan and increase motivation and readiness, followed by a 12-session weekly group intervention delivered in substance use services. Men will be randomly allocated (ratio 1:1) to receive the ADVANCE intervention + TAU or TAU only. Men's female (ex) partners will be invited to provide outcome data and offered support from integrated safety services (ISS). Regular case management meetings between substance use and ISS will manage risk. Outcome measures will be obtained at the end of the intervention (approximately 4 months post-randomisation) for all male and female participants. The main objective of this feasibility trial is to estimate parameters required for planning a definitive trial including rates of consent, recruitment, and follow-up by site and group allocation. Nested formative evaluation including focus groups and in-depth interviews will explore the intervention's acceptability to participants, group facilitators, keyworkers and ISS workers. Secondary outcomes include substance use, IPA, mental health, self-management, health and social care service use, criminal justice contacts, and quality of life.

Discussion: Findings from this feasibility trial will inform the design of a multicentre randomised controlled trial evaluating the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of the ADVANCE intervention for reducing IPA and improving the well-being of female (ex)partners.

Trial Registration: ISRCTN79435190.
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May 2020

"From taboo to routine": a qualitative evaluation of a hospital-based advocacy intervention for domestic violence and abuse.

BMC Health Serv Res 2020 Feb 21;20(1):129. Epub 2020 Feb 21.

Domestic Violence/Abuse and Health Research Group (DVAHG), Centre for Academic Primary Care, Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol, Canynge Hall, 39 Whatley Road, Bristol, BS8 2PS, UK.

Background: Health services are often the first point of professional contact for people who have experienced domestic violence and abuse. We report on the evaluation of a multi-site, hospital-based advocacy intervention for survivors of domestic violence and abuse. Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs), who provide survivors with support around safety, criminal justice, and health and wellbeing, were located in five hospitals in England between 2012 and 2015 in emergency departments and maternity services. We present views about IDVAs' approaches to tackling domestic violence and abuse, how the IDVA service worked in practice, and factors that hindered and facilitated engagement with survivors.

Methods: We adopted a convenience sampling approach and invited participation from all who offered to take part within the study timeframe. Sixty-four healthcare professionals, IDVAs, IDVA service managers, and commissioners at all sites were interviewed. Interviews were analysed using a thematic approach: familiarising ourselves with the data through repeated readings and noting initial ideas; generating initial codes through double coding notable features of the data across the dataset; collating codes into potential themes; and reviewing themes to ensure they captured the essence of the data.

Results: Two key themes emerged. The first was Hospital-based IDVAs fulfil several crucial roles. This theme highlighted that healthcare professionals thought the hospital-based IDVA service was valuable because it enhanced their skills, knowledge, and confidence in asking about domestic violence and abuse. It enabled them to immediately refer and provide support to patients who might have otherwise been lost along a referral pathway. It also reached survivors who might otherwise have remained hidden. The second theme was Success hinges on a range of structural factors. This theme illustrated the importance of ongoing domestic violence and abuse training for staff, the IDVA having private and dedicated space, and the service being embedded in hospital infrastructure (e.g. featuring it in hospital-wide policies and enabling IDVAs access to medical records).

Conclusion: Hospital-based IDVAs offer a unique and valued way to respond to domestic violence and abuse in a healthcare setting. Further work must now be done to explore how to implement the service sustainably.
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February 2020

Cry for health: a quantitative evaluation of a hospital-based advocacy intervention for domestic violence and abuse.

BMC Health Serv Res 2019 Oct 21;19(1):718. Epub 2019 Oct 21.

Domestic Violence/Abuse and Health Research Group (DVAHG), Centre for Academic Primary Care, Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol, Canynge Hall, 39 Whatley Road, Bristol, BS8 2PS, UK.

Background: Domestic violence and abuse (DVA) damages the health of survivors and increases use of healthcare services. We report findings from a multi-site evaluation of hospital-based advocacy services, designed to support survivors attending emergency departments and maternity services.

Methods: Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVA) were co-located in five UK hospitals. Case-level data were collected at T1 (initial referral) and T2 (case closure) from survivors accessing hospital (T1 N = 692; T2 N = 476) and community IDVA services (T1 N = 3544; T2 N = 2780), used as a comparator. Measures included indicators of sociodemographic characteristics, experience of abuse, health service use, health and safety outcomes. Multivariate analyses tested for differences in changes in abuse, health and factors influencing safety outcomes. Health service use data in the 6 months pre-and post- intervention were compared to generate potential cost savings by hospital IDVA services.

Results: Hospital IDVAs worked with survivors less visible to community IDVA services and facilitated intervention at an earlier point. Hospital IDVAs received higher referrals from health services and enabled access to a greater number of health resources. Hospital survivors were more likely to report greater reductions in and cessation of abuse. No differences were observed in health outcomes for hospital survivors. The odds of safety increased two-fold if hospital survivors received over five contacts with an IDVA or accessed six or more resources / programmes over a longer period of time. Six months preceding IDVA intervention, hospital survivors cost on average £2463 each in use of health services; community survivors cost £533 each. The cost savings observed among hospital survivors amounted to a total of £2050 per patient per year. This offset the average cost of providing hospital IDVA services.

Conclusions: Hospital IDVAs can identify survivors not visible to other services and promote safety through intensive support and access to resources. The co-location of IDVAs within the hospital encouraged referrals to other health services and wider community agencies. Further research is required to establish the cost-effectiveness of hospital IDVA services, however our findings suggest these services could be an efficient use of health service resources.
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October 2019