Use of a Health Advocacy Model for Survivors of Interpersonal Violence

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Dec 2;17(23):8966. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17238966.


This article examines the implementation of a health advocacy model designed for survivors of interpersonal violence (IPV) in a metropolitan area of North Texas. Using a framework influenced by motivational interviewing, solution-focused therapy, and trauma-informed care, this program engaged IPV survivors in creating health and safety goals. Goal attainment scaling was used to track progress after each health advocacy encounter. Clients could set their own goals for healthcare, self-care, and safety. The program served 419 clients and 648 goals were set by clients at the first visit. Among all goals, 89% selected goals focused on healthcare, with 47% of those selecting obtaining health insurance or coverage as a need. These results demonstrate the need for an enhanced healthcare response for this population. The remaining goals selected were self-care (7%) and safety (3%). The design of the health advocacy intervention shows promise towards filling the gaps between IPV and healthcare service delivery systems.

Keywords: goal attainment scaling; health advocacy; intimate partner violence; motivational interviewing; solution-focused therapy; women’s health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intimate Partner Violence
  • Male
  • Patient Advocacy*
  • Survivors*
  • Texas
  • Violence*