Domestic violence victimization in psychiatric patients

The implementation and evaluation of an integrated intervention to detect and reduce domestic violence victimization in psychiatric patients.

Psychiatric patients are more often victim of domestic violence than persons without psychiatric disorders. However, identification rates of victims of domestic violence by mental health professionals are low and there is little evidence on the effectiveness of interventions addressing victim support and the reduction of revictimization among this group of victims.

LARA intervention

A recently piloted intervention that was specifically developed for psychiatric patients (the LARA intervention: Linking Abuse and Recovery through Advocacy) showed promising results on reduction of domestic violence and increase of wellbeing of patients that were victims of domestic violence.
The aim of the LARA intervention is to increase identification rates of domestic violence in psychiatric patients, and to strengthen the referral pathways between MHC services and services supporting victims of domestic violence. LARA entails the training of mental health care (MHC) professionals and municipal domestic violence professionals on the awareness and identification of domestic violence in psychiatric patients, and the optimization and provision of integrated services on domestic violence for victimized psychiatric patients.

Adaptation, implementation, and effectiveness

This project proposes to study the adaptation, implementation, and effectiveness of this approach for psychiatric patients in the Rotterdam area.
The intervention will be evaluated in a cluster randomized controlled trial, using treatment as usual as comparison condition. CMH service teams (i.e., flexible assertive community treatment teams) specialized in the treatment of severely mentally ill patients will be randomly selected. The intervention will be evaluated in terms of 1) an increase of detection rate of domestic violence, and referrals established between CMH services and municipal domestic violence services 2), the patients’ experiences with the intervention, and 3) the feasibility, sustainability, and acceptance of the intervention.
The project will result in an evidence based intervention to detect and reduce domestic violence (re-)victimization in psychiatric patients.
Duration of the project will be 4 years (September 2014- August 2018).

Samenvatting van

Erasmus MC, Psychiatrie, Epidemiologisch en Sociaal Psychiatrisch Research instituut (ESPRi)


Drs. R.E. Ruijne


01-01-2015 tot 31-12-2018