The Effectiveness of Targeted Interventions for Children Exposed to Domestic Violence: Measuring Success in Ways that Matter to Children, Parents and Professionals Journal Articles uri icon

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  • The ultimate goal of trials is to identify interventions that can benefit individuals in the future. It is crucial, therefore, that they measure outcomes that reflect the priorities and expectations of those using the interventions. We consider this issue in relation to trials of interventions for children exposed to domestic violence and abuse (DVA). To explore this, we drew on data collected as part of a larger study to consider whether the types of outcomes measured in clinical trials reflect: (1) the perceived benefit of interventions reported in qualitative evaluation studies; and (2) the views of parents, professionals and young people as to what constitutes a ‘good outcome’. We found that trials most frequently evaluated changes in children's symptoms and disorders, whereas children and parents, along with practitioners, had broader concepts of success that extended beyond narrow health‐focused outcomes. A number of studies measured other types of outcomes, although there was inconsistency in the types of outcomes that were measured.Based on these findings, we discuss the need to reach consensus on an expanded set of outcomes to be measured in child‐focused DVA trials. This will mean that the effectiveness of interventions is judged against outcomes that are important to those who use interventions. It will also facilitate greater consistency in outcome measurement across studies, thereby enhancing the quality of evidence in this emerging field. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.‘Need to reach consensus on an expanded set of outcomes to be measured in child‐focused DVA trials’Key Practitioner MessagesIn order to adequately assess what works to reduce the impact of domestic violence on children, researchers should: Work with stakeholders to understand which outcomes are important to them. Seek consensus about a standardised set of outcomes to be measured and reported in all trials. Ensure that the success of interventions is measured against these outcomes.


  • Howarth, Emma
  • Moore, Theresa HM
  • Shaw, Ali RG
  • Welton, Nicky J
  • Feder, Gene S
  • Hester, Marianne
  • Macmillan, Harriet Louise
  • Stanley, Nicky

publication date

  • July 2015