Improving outcomes for children exposed to domestic violence (IMPROVE)

Children exposed to domestic violence and abuse are more likely to experience negative outcomes such as behaviour problems, anxiety, depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and educational problems (e.g. low attainment, truancy). The impact of childhood exposure is not short term; the increased risk extends into adulthood where those with a history of exposure are at an increased risk of poor mental health, unemployment and experience of intimate partner violence, compared to those without such experience. There are an array of intervention programmes targeting children and young people that aim to prevent or reduce these ill effects, however only a few have been rigorously evaluated. As a consequence there is limited understanding of the effectiveness of early interventions that may benefit children and the non-abusive parent.

Funded by the NIHR public health research programme, IMPROVE is an evidence synthesis that will draw together data about the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of existing intervention programmes for children experiencing domestic abuse. The overarching goal of the study is to shape the direction of future research, for example highlighting promising programmes that should be trialled more rigorously.

The specific objectives of this study are:

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