Factors influencing the implementation of an intimate partner violence intervention in nurse home visiting: A qualitative descriptive study Academic Article uri icon

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  • Aims

    To identify factors that influenced: (1) integration of an intimate partner violence intervention into the Nurse-Family Partnership programme and (2) utilization of the intervention with fidelity to the clinical pathway by nurses in their home visits.


    A qualitative descriptive study embedded in the intervention arm (n = 7 sites) of a 15-site cluster randomized clinical trial to evaluate the intimate partner violence intervention.


    Semi-structured interviews (n = 13) were conducted with supervisors. Nurses at the seven sites shared their experiences in focus groups conducted at two time points (n = 14 focus groups, 12 months after baseline and following collection of client trial data). Qualitative data were generated between May 2012 and September 2016, with this post hoc analysis completed in 2021. Focus group data were analysed using a rapid qualitative analysis technique. Conventional content analysis was used to categorize data from the supervisor interviews.


    Integration was negatively impacted by: (1) a lack of centralized programme support and (2) competing programme demands. At the practice level, multiple factors related to supervisor capacity, preservation of the nurse-client relationship and nurse, client and intervention attributes influenced nurses' capacity to address intimate partner violence with fidelity to the clinical pathway. A lack of privacy in home visits was the most common barrier to addressing clients' experiences of violence. The need for increased time for nurses to develop clinical expertise prior to the evaluation of the intervention was also identified.


    Before implementing an intimate partner violence intervention, home visitation programmes need to attend to site readiness, provide support to supervisors to facilitate implementation, and provide nurses with time to develop the expertise and clinical judgement required to use a complex intervention whilst also respecting clients' agency to determine when and how they will respond to the violence in their relationships.ImpactWhat problem did the study address? Given the positive impacts that participating in the Nurse-Family Partnership intimate partner violence education had on nurse home visitors' attitudes and confidence to address this type of violence experienced by first-time mothers, it was important to understand what factors contributed to the low fidelity of intervention implementation in practice, a factor that may help to explain the lack of client-level impacts on maternal outcomes. What were the main findings? Implementation of an intimate partner violence intervention in a nurse home visiting programme was influenced by contextual factors at both programme and practice levels. At the practice level, a lack of privacy in the home limited nurses' capacity to use the intervention. Supervisors were identified as having an important role to support nurses develop the expertise to use the intervention. Nurses also consistently balanced the intervention requirements to address intimate partner violence with an understanding of the complexity of this type of violence in young women's lives and respect for clients' agency to determine when and how they will respond to the violence in their relationships. Where and on whom will the research have an impact? These findings will be of interest to: (1) researchers developing and evaluating complex nursing interventions to address intimate partner violence in home visitation programmes and (2) stakeholders leading the implementation of novel innovations in the Nurse-Family Partnership programme.

publication date

  • June 30, 2022