Online Decision Aid for Battered Women

COLUMBIA, Mo., July 29 (UPI) — U.S. researchers say they have developed a Web-based program for women experiencing intimate partner violence to develop individualized safety plans.

Tina Bloom, assistant professor in the Sinclair School of Nursing at the University of Missouri, says the online program provides women with personalized assessments of the danger of their situations and generates a series of questions to create individualized safety plans based on their responses.

Blooms says a safety plan may include talking with children about what to do if violence occurs, finding a safe place to go at a moment’s notice, or hiding money and clothes somewhere in or outside the home.

“The decision aid provides anonymity and guidance to women who aren’t comfortable talking about their situations,” Bloom says in a statement. “It helps women think through their decisions, make more informed decisions and decrease decisional conflict — that sort of feeling like they don’t know what to do, what their options are or where to look for help.”

The pilot study finds women’s decisional conflicts were reduced after one use of the online decision aid, the researchers say.

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