Assessing the Veterans Health Administration’s response to intimate partner violence among women: protocol for a randomized hybrid type 2 implementation-effectiveness trial

May 17, 2020 | Iverson

BACKGROUND: Intimate partner violence (IPV) against women in the United States (US) remains a complex public health crisis. Women who experience IPV are among the most vulnerable patients seen in primary care. Screening increases the detection of IPV and, when paired with appropriate response interventions, can mitigate the health effects of IPV. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has encouraged evidence-based IPV screening programs since 2014, yet adoption is modest and questions remain regarding the optimal ways to implement these practices, which are not yet available within the majority of VA primary care clinics.

METHODS/DESIGN: This paper describes the planned evaluation of VA’s nationwide implementation of IPV screening programs in primary care clinics through a randomized implementation-effectiveness hybrid type 2 trial. With the support of our VA operational partners, we propose a stepped wedge design to compare the impact of two implementation strategies of differing intensities (toolkit + implementation as usual vs. toolkit + implementation facilitation) and investigate the clinical effectiveness of IPV screening programs. Using balanced randomization, 16-20 VA Medical Centers will be assigned to receive implementation facilitation in one of three waves, with implementation support lasting 6 months. Implementation facilitation in this effort consists of the coordinated efforts of the two types of facilitators, external and internal. Implementation facilitation is compared to dissemination of a toolkit plus implementation as usual. We propose a mixed methods approach to collect quantitative (clinical records data) and qualitative (key informant interviews) implementation outcomes, as well as quantitative (clinical records data) clinical effectiveness outcomes. We will supplement these data collection methods with provider surveys to assess discrete implementation strategies used before, during, and following implementation facilitation. The integrated-Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services (i-PARIHS) framework will guide the qualitative data collection and analysis. Summative data will be analyzed using the Reach Effectiveness Adoption Implementation Maintenance (RE-AIM) framework.

DISCUSSION: This research will advance national VHA efforts by identifying the practices and strategies useful for enhancing the implementation of IPV screening programs, thereby ultimately improving services for and health of women seen in primary care. TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT04106193. Registered on 23 September 2019.

PubMed Abstract

Iverson, K. M., Dichter, M. E., Stolzmann, K., Adjognon, O. L., Lew, R. A., Bruce, L. E., . . . Miller, C. J. (2020). Assessing the Veterans Health Administration's response to intimate partner violence among women: protocol for a randomized hybrid type 2 implementation-effectiveness trial. Implement Sci, 15(1), 29. doi:10.1186/s13012-020-0969-0