Background: Intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization is a prevalent issue among women residing in Mexico City. Comprehensive and integrated health care provider (HCP) delivered programs in clinic-settings are needed, yet few have been evaluated in Latin America, including Mexico. In addition, there has been minimal attention to interventions among lower income women presenting at settings outside of antenatal care clinics. The current randomized controlled trial seeks to increase midlevel HCPs' capacity, specifically nurses, who are often the first point of contact in this setting, to identify women presenting at health clinics with experiences of IPV and to assist these women with health risk mitigation. Specific outcomes include changes in past-year IPV (physical and/or sexual), reproductive coercion, safety planning, use of community resources, and quality of life.
Methods/design: Forty-two public health clinics in Mexico City were randomized to treatment or control clinics. Nurses meeting eligibility criteria in treatment groups received an intensive training on screening for IPV, providing supportive referrals, and assessing for health and safety risks. Nurses meeting eligibility criteria at control clinics received the standard of care which included a one-day training focused on sensitizing staff to IPV as a health issue and referral cards to give to women. Women were screened for eligibility (currently experiencing abuse in a heterosexual relationship, 18-44 years of age, non-pregnant or in first trimester) by research assistants in private areas of waiting rooms in health clinics. Consenting women completed a baseline survey and received the study protocol for that clinic. In treatment clinics, women received the nurse delivered session at baseline and received a follow-up counseling session after three months. Surveys are conducted at baseline, three months, and fifteen months from baseline.
Discussion: This study will provide important insight into whether a nurse-delivered program can assist women currently experiencing abuse in a Latin American context. Findings can be used to inform IPV programs and policies in Mexico City's public health clinics.
Trial registration: NCT01661504.