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  1. Empowerment Training for Abused Pregnant Chinese Women

Empowerment Training for Abused Pregnant Chinese Women

Program Goals/Target Population

The goal of this program is to help abused women in China cope with the negative impact of psychological and physical abuse by their partners. The program strives to help these women improve their self-esteem and make better choices so that they are able to overcome the negative experience of being abused. The main goals are to reduce intimate partner violence and improve health-related quality of life for these abused women.


 

The program is targeted at pregnant women in Hong Kong who have been emotionally or physically abused by their partner.


 

Program Theory

The theory behind this program is that intimate partner abuse is predominantly psychological, and women often do not report this type of abuse or seek help. Therefore, if women feel better about themselves, they will be more capable of making better decisions and avoiding abuse. When the woman feels empowered and confident, she will be less likely to fall victim to abuse and can live a happier, healthier life.


 

Program Components

The program provides a safe environment for abused pregnant women to talk about their experiences with abuse and receive support and advice, primarily through individual therapy. The therapy offers empathic understanding but also emphasizes the need for the woman to identify and accept her feelings in order to overcome the negative impact the abuse has had on her self-esteem. The women additionally receive advice in safety techniques, decision making, and problem solving. Such life skills training aim to empower the participants, enhance their independence and control, and help them make better life choices. The women receive a brochure at the end of their therapy session that reinforces the information covered.


 

Key Personnel

Senior research assistants with training in midwifery and counseling, along with trained therapists, are crucial for proper implementation of this program.


 

Intervention ID
68
Ages

18 to 100

Rating
Promising
Outcomes

Study 1

Intimate Partner Violence

Tiwari and colleagues (2005) found that the experimental group showed a larger decline in levels of psychological abuse on the Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS) scale after the intervention, compared to the control group. The preintervention mean score for psychological abuse on the CTS scale was 3.1 for the experimental group; the mean score for this group decreased to 0.79 after the intervention. The preintervention mean score was 2.8 for the control group, which decreased to 1.6 after the intervention. These differences were found to be statistically significant.


 

The experimental group also showed a larger decline in levels of minor physical violence after the intervention, compared to the control group. The preintervention mean score for minor physical violence on the CTS scale was 1.3 for the experimental group, which decreased to 0.05 after the intervention. For the control group, the pre-intervention mean score was 0.7; this score decreased to 0.51 after the intervention. These differences were found to be statistically significant.


 

There were not significant differences between the two groups in severe physical violence or sexual abuse.


 

All women who participated in the study continued to stay with their partners during the entire study and follow-up period.


 

Health-Related Quality of Life


Following the intervention, the experimental group had the most significant changes compared to the control group in physical functioning, physical role limitation, and emotional role limitation. All of the changes were found to be statistically significant.


 

Prior to the intervention, the experimental group’s mean score on the physical functioning measure of the Short Form Health Survey (SF–36) was 80; the mean score for this group increased to 90 after the intervention. The control group had a mean score of 80 prior to the intervention; this score remained at 80 after the intervention.


 

On physical role limitation, prior to the intervention, the experimental group’s mean score on this measure was 43. The treatment group’s mean score increased to 73 after the intervention. The control group had a mean score of 35 on the physical role limitation measure, which increased to 45 after the intervention.


 

The experimental group’s mean score on the emotional role limitation measure of the SF–36 was 53 prior to the intervention; after the intervention, the mean score for this group increased to 77. Prior to the intervention, the control group had a mean score of 53 on the emotional role limitation measure. This score decreased to 47 after the intervention.


 

The only measure in which the experimental group’s SF–36 scores decreased after the intervention was the bodily pain measure. The pre-intervention mean score was 22, and the score decreased to 14 after the intervention. The control group saw a slight increase from a preintervention mean score of 22 to a postintervention mean score of 27.


 

The remaining measures (general health, vitality, social functioning, and mental health) did not vary significantly between preintervention and postintervention levels for the experimental or control group.


 

Postnatal Depression

As determined by the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, the experimental group showed a significantly lower level of postnatal depression compared to the control group. After the intervention, nine women from the experimental group showed signs of postnatal depression, compared to 25 in the control group.

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