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Qualitative study to explore the health and well-being impacts on adults providing informal support to female domestic violence survivors

Gregory, Alison, Feder, Gene, Taket, Ann and Williamson, Emma 2017, Qualitative study to explore the health and well-being impacts on adults providing informal support to female domestic violence survivors, BMJ Open, vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 1-9, doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-014511.

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Title Qualitative study to explore the health and well-being impacts on adults providing informal support to female domestic violence survivors
Author(s) Gregory, Alison
Feder, Gene
Taket, AnnORCID iD for Taket, Ann orcid.org/0000-0002-0971-5884
Williamson, Emma
Journal name BMJ Open
Volume number 7
Issue number 3
Article ID e014511
Start page 1
End page 9
Total pages 9
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2017-03
ISSN 2044-6055
Keyword(s) MENTAL HEALTH
PRIMARY CARE
PSYCHIATRY
PUBLIC HEALTH
TRAUMA MANAGEMENT
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Medicine, General & Internal
General & Internal Medicine
INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE
SOCIAL SUPPORT
NETWORK MEMBERS
WOMEN
EXPERIENCES
STRESS
CARE
DISORDERS
FAMILY
ABUSE
Summary Objectives Domestic violence (DV) is hazardous to survivors' health, from injuries sustained and from resultant chronic physical and mental health problems. Support from friends and relatives is significant in the lives of DV survivors; research shows associations between positive support and the health, well-being and safety of survivors. Little is known about how people close to survivors are impacted. The aim of this study was exploratory, with the following research question: what are the health and well-being impacts on adults who provide informal support to female DV survivors?

Design
A qualitative study using semistructured interviews conducted face to face, by telephone or using Skype. A thematic analysis of the narratives was carried out.

Setting Community-based, across the UK.

Participants People were eligible to take part if they had had a close relationship (either as friend, colleague or family member) with a woman who had experienced DV, and were aged 16 or over during the time they knew the survivor. Participants were recruited via posters in community venues, social media and radio advertisement. 23 participants were recruited and interviewed; the majority were women, most were white and ages ranged from mid-20s to 80.

Results
Generated themes included: negative impacts on psychological and emotional well-being of informal supporters, and related physical health impacts. Some psychological impacts were over a limited period; others were chronic and had the potential to be severe and enduring. The impacts described suggested that those providing informal support to survivors may be experiencing secondary traumatic stress as they journey alongside the survivor.

Conclusions Friends and relatives of DV survivors experience substantial impact on their own health and well-being. There are no direct services to support this group. These findings have practical and policy implications, so that the needs of informal supporters are legitimised and met.
Language eng
DOI 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-014511
Field of Research 111712 Health Promotion
Socio Economic Objective 920599 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2017, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30092412

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.