Addressing Domestic Violence in Antenatal Care Environments in Nepal (ADVANCE) – study protocol for a randomized controlled trial evaluating a video intervention on domestic violence among pregnant women
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Background Domestic violence (DV) prior to, and during pregnancy is associated with increased risks for morbid- ity and mortality. As pregnant women routinely attend antenatal care this environment can be used to offer support to women experiencing DV. We have developed a video intervention that focuses on the use of behavioral coping strategies, particularly regarding disclosure of DV experiences. The effectiveness of this intervention will be evaluated through a randomized controlled trial (RCT) and a concurrent process evaluation. Methods All pregnant women between 12–22 weeks of gestation attending routine antenatal care at two tertiary level hospitals in Nepal are invited to participate. DV is measured using the Nepalese version of the Abuse Assess- ment Screen (N-AAS). Additionally, we measure participants’ mental health, use of coping strategies, physical activity, and food security through a Color-coded Audio Computer Assisted Self Interview (C-ACASI). Irrespective of DV status, women are randomized into the intervention or control arm using a computer-generated randomization program. The intervention arm views a short video providing information on DV, safety improving actions women can take with an emphasis on disclosing the violence to a trusted person along with utilizing helplines available in Nepal. The control group watches a video on maintaining a healthy pregnancy and when to seek healthcare. The primary outcome is the proportion of women disclosing their DV status to someone. Secondary outcomes are symptoms of anxiety and depression, coping strategies, the use of safety measures and attitudes towards acceptance of abuse. Follow-up is conducted after 32 weeks of gestation, where both the intervention and control group participants view the intervention video after completing the follow-up questionnaire. Additionally, a mixed methods process evaluation of the intervention will be carried out to explore factors influencing the acceptability of the intervention and the disclosure of DV, including a review of project documents, individual interviews, and focus group discussions with members of the research team, healthcare providers, and participants. Discussion This study will provide evidence on whether pregnant women attending regular antenatal visits can enhance their safety by disclosing their experiences of violence to a trusted person after receiving a video intervention.