Safety decision-making and planning mobile app for intimate partner violence prevention and response: randomised controlled trial in Kenya

BMJ Glob Health. 2020 Jul;5(7):e002091. doi: 10.1136/bmjgh-2019-002091.


Introduction: Intimate partner violence (IPV) threatens women's health and safety globally, yet services remain underdeveloped and inaccessible. Technology-based resources exist, however, few have been adapted and tested in low-resource settings. We evaluate the efficacy of a community-partnered technology solution: culturally and linguistically adapted version of the myPlan app, a tailored safety decision-making and planning intervention, administrated by trained lay professionals.

Methods: This randomised, controlled, participant-blinded superiority trial compares safety-related outcomes at baseline, immediate post intervention and 3-month follow-up among women at risk of and experiencing IPV in Nairobi, Kenya. Women were randomised (1:1 ratio) to: (1) myPlan Kenya (intervention); or (2) standard IPV referrals (control). Primary outcomes were safety preparedness, safety behaviour and IPV; secondary outcomes include resilience, mental health, service utilisation and self-blame.

Results: Between April 2018 and October 2018, 352 participants (n=177 intervention, n=175 control) were enrolled and randomly assigned; 312 (88.6%, n=157 intervention, n=155 control) were retained at 3 months. Intervention participants demonstrated immediate postintervention improvement in safety preparedness relative to control participants (p=0.001). At 3 months, intervention participants reported increased helpfulness of safety strategies used relative to control participants (p=0.004); IPV reduced in both groups. Among women reporting the highest level of IPV severity, intervention participants had significant increase in resilience (p<0.01) compared with controls, and significantly decreased risk for lethal violence (p<0.01).

Conclusions: Facilitated delivery of a technology-based safety intervention appropriately adapted to the context demonstrates promise in improving women's IPV-related health and safety in a low-resource, urban setting.

Trial registration number: Pan African Clinical Trial Registry (PACTR201804003321122).

Keywords: public health; randomised control trial.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intimate Partner Violence* / prevention & control
  • Kenya
  • Mental Health
  • Mobile Applications*
  • Sexual Partners

Associated data

  • PACTR/PACTR201804003321122