Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Evaluating a service for abused women

Roger Watson, Editor-in-Chief

It is not easy for abused women to seek help. But what are their experiences when they do? That is the subject of a study from the UK by Bradbury-Jones et al. (2017) titled: Abused women’s experiences of a primary care identification and referral intervention: a case study analysis and published in JAN. The study aimed to: 'report the findings of a qualitative case study that investigated abused women’s experiences of an identification and referral intervention and to discuss the implications for nurses, specifically those working in primary and community care.' The acronym for the service is IRIS.

The study involved ten women, two of whom continued to live with the perpetrator of their abuse. The women were interviewed and the aim was to: 'elicit their experiences of the three aspects of the intervention: identification; referral; safety.' Women were 'overwhelmingly positive' about the intervention. One woman said: 'My doctor referred me. She was absolutely unbelievable. She took it very seriously. At this point I had been to every service and no-one cared. At this point I was really down and I was homeless with the kids. And I just thought ‘someone is going to help me now'.' Another woman said: 'got a lot of information that I needed because I was going through the services for the first time because I am not from Britain and so I got advice about the services so that I could use them in the future. So I know for the future and I was learning about what to do if it happened again. I just needed to know what to do in an emergency so I felt safer knowing there is help.'

In the words of the authors: 'All women in our study reported that they felt empowered by the process of being referred through IRIS. While not all chose to leave the abusive relationship, they nonetheless felt better equipped to deal with the future.'

You can listen to this as a podcast


BRADBURY-JONES C., CLARK M. & TAYLOR J. (2017) Abused women’s experiences of a primary care identification and referral intervention: a case study analysisJournal of Advanced Nursing doi: 10.1111/jan.13250

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