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National implementation of a trauma-informed intervention for intimate partner violence in the Department of Veterans Affairs: first year outcomes.

Creech SK, Benzer JK, Ebalu T, Murphy CM, Taft CT. National implementation of a trauma-informed intervention for intimate partner violence in the Department of Veterans Affairs: first year outcomes. BMC health services research. 2018 Jul 24; 18(1):582.

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BACKGROUND: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has recently implemented a comprehensive national program to help veterans who use or experience intimate partner violence (IPV). One important component of this plan is to implement Strength at Home (SAH), a 12-week cognitive-behavioral and trauma-informed group treatment designed to reduce and end IPV use among military and veteran populations. METHOD: The present study describes initial patient and clinician findings from the first year of a training program tasked with implementing SAH at 10 VA medical centers. RESULTS: Results from 51 veterans who completed both pre- and post-treatment assessments indicate SAH was associated with significant pre- to post-treatment reductions in the proportion of veterans who reported using physical and psychological IPV toward a partner, the types of IPV used, and posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms. Overall, veterans reported high satisfaction with the quality and nature of services received, and with the program materials. In addition, 70% of sites and 34% of the 79 clinicians trained were successful in launching the program in the first year. The mean number of days between site training and initiation of the first group session was 135.86 (SD? = 63.16, range 72-252). CONCLUSIONS: Results suggest that the training and implementation program was successful overall. However, average length of time between in-person training and initiation of group services was longer than desired and there were three sites that did not successfully implement the program within the first year, suggesting a need to reduce implementation barriers and enhance institutional support.

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