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AHRQ awards new research projects to help victims of domestic violence

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has awarded approximately $5.5 million in total projected funding over the next 5 years for four new research projects to improve treatment and outcomes for victims of domestic violence. These grants are funded under AHRQ's Request for Applications (RFA), "Violence Against Women: Evaluating Health Care Interventions," which was released on February 16, 2000.

Health care organizations have a critical opportunity to identify victims of intimate partner violence and to provide services that enhance health outcomes. Funding research in this area will provide these organizations with evidence-based findings about treatment approaches that are most effective. To that end, the goals of the RFA, released as part of the Secretary of Health and Human Services' FY 2000 initiative on violence against women, are to develop new knowledge in the prevention of domestic violence, improve the identification of female patients at risk, and evaluate outcomes and effectiveness of health care interventions designed to treat domestic violence victims. The newly funded projects are:

Treatment outcomes for abused women in public clinics
Principal investigator Janet Y. Groff, M.D., Ph.D.
University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston
Total projected funding $1,973,506
Project period 9/30/00 - 8/31/04

The researchers will evaluate the effectiveness of nurse case management and group education for black, Hispanic, and white abused women attending two inner city primary care clinics. These two clinics are part of a county-wide clinic and hospital system for low income people. In addition, the researchers will evaluate the impact of the interventions on the health, functional status, and medical use of children of abused women.

A randomized controlled trial of computer screening for domestic violence
Principal investigator Wendy Levinson, M.D.
University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Total projected funding $1,031,581
Project period 9/30/00 - 8/31/03

The goal of this project is to evaluate the effectiveness of a computerized assessment tool to help clinicians in emergency departments identify potential victims of domestic violence and recommend specific strategies for management. The study will include women who come to the emergency departments of two hospitals, one in the inner city and the other in the suburbs.

The cost and benefits of intervening: Battered women's mental and physical health over time
Principal investigator Laura McCloskey, Ph.D.
Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Total projected funding $1,231,268
Project period 9/30/00 - 8/31/05

The researchers will compare seven existing domestic violence interventions located in different hospital settings. Findings from this study will offer new information on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of different hospital-based interventions. The goal is to identify effective programs and encourage their adoption.

Outcomes for intimate partner violence: Patient and provider perspectives
Principal investigator Michael Rodriguez, M.D.
University of California, San Francisco
Total projected funding $1,253,078
Project period 9/30/00 - 9/29/04

The researchers will study 125 Hispanic women in prenatal clinics in San Francisco who are at risk for intimate partner violence (IPV). A principal goal is to determine women's preferences for health care outcomes from IPV interventions.

Editor's Note: Select for the announcement of AHRQ's newly appointed Domestic Violence Senior Scholar-in-Residence.

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