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Exploring the ethical and social aspects of using mHealth technology in urban and rural home visitation programmes for women affected by domestic violence


Domestic violence against women is highly prevalent and recognised as a global public health issue. Internationally there has been greater focus on the development and evaluation of interventions to address domestic violence in health care settings, paticularly primary and maternity care. To date, much of the evidence on health sector interventions to address domestic violence comes from the United States and there are few published studies in Europe. Futhermore, there are gaps in the research evidence with regards to domestic violence interventions in home visitation programmes for women with young children.

In the USA, a team of researchers at the University of Virgina and John Hopkins University are testing a domestic violence intervention in home visitation programme using mHealth technology called eMOCHA DOVE (Domestic Violence Enhanced Home Visitation) in a five-year randomised controlled trial. The intervention will be tested in urban and rural sites in Baltimore and Virginia. This is the first study internationally to use mHealth technology to deliver a domestic violence intervention by home visitors. eMOCHA DOVE will assist home visitors in accurately identifying domestic violence and providing an intervention using a well tested empowerment model. The control group will receive the standard DOVE intervention which is adminstered by the home visitor using paper and pencil technique.

The use of mHealth to deliver domestic violence interventions in health care and home visitation is new and warrants further investigation. It is not yet known whether mHealth will help or hinder the outcome of interventions for women and children. The fellowship provides an opportunity to conduct ethnographic research within a federally funded trial to explore the potential bioethical and social aspects with regards to issues such as safety, trust, impact on patient/provider relationship and communication and information sharing and confidentiality.

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Keppel Street
WC1E 7HT London
United Kingdom

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Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Arques Rosa (Ms.)
EU contribution
€ 265 035,10