This trial is active, not recruiting.

Condition domestic violence
Treatments setting priorities for safety, danger assessment, personalized action plan, general risk and safety information, basic emergency safety plan
Sponsor Western University, Canada
Collaborator Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
Start date October 2014
End date January 2017
Trial size 462 participants
Trial identifier NCT02258841, HSREB 105436


The purpose of this study is to assess the effectiveness of an interactive, online safety decision aid among diverse Canadian women who are experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV). The investigators will also explore how the online intervention works, and whether it has different effects for different groups of women.

United States No locations recruiting
Other countries No locations recruiting

Study Design

Allocation randomized
Intervention model parallel assignment
Masking double blind (subject, investigator)
Primary purpose prevention
Setting priorities for safety; Danger Assessment; Personalized Action Plan
setting priorities for safety
Participants rate the importance of 5 priorities to decision-making about their unsafe relationship by comparing the relative importance of each pair of priorities. Weights for each priority are computed and provided to the woman, along with examples of safety strategies that fit with her top ranked priority.
danger assessment
Participants complete a calendar to show episodes of physical and/or sexual violence they have experienced in the past 12, along with 20 questions assessing risk of serious or lethal violence. A standardized weighted score is provided, along with a brief explanation about her level of danger and appropriate actions she may take.
personalized action plan
Women create a tailored action plan for themselves by selecting strategies from 8 different groups, including those which are recommended to them based on their responses to previous questions.
(Active Comparator)
General Risk and Safety Information; Basic Emergency Safety Plan
general risk and safety information
Participants receive general information about the importance of priorities in making safety decisions and risk factors for intimate partner violence.
basic emergency safety plan
Participants are provided with a basic emergency plan including information about local DV resources. The information is not personalized but is consistent with online information which women could find on their own (usual care)

Primary Outcomes

Changes in depressive symptoms on the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, Revised
time frame: baseline, 12 months
Changes in PTSD symptomology on the PTSD Checklist (Civilian Version)
time frame: baseline, 12 months

Secondary Outcomes

Changes in Decisional Conflict on the low literacy version of the Decisional Conflict Scale
time frame: baseline, immediately post-intervention
Changes in use of safety strategies on a Safety Behavior Checklist
time frame: baseline, 6 months
Changes in use of safety strategies on a Safety Behavior Checklist
time frame: baseline, 12 months
Change in Mastery on Pearlin's Mastery Scale
time frame: baseline, 12 months
changes in self-efficacy for safety planning on investigator developed scales
time frame: baseline, 6 months
changes in self-efficacy for safety planning on investigator developed scales
time frame: baseline, 12 months

Eligibility Criteria

Female participants at least 19 years old.

Inclusion Criteria: - Women - 19 years and older, - English-speaking, - Living in Ontario, New Brunswick, or British Columbia, - Reports current physical, sexual or emotional abuse in the context of coercive control from a current or former partner (boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, or intimate/sexual partner) - Expresses comfort with and access to a safe computer with internet - Access to safe email and mailing address Exclusion Criteria: - Men - Under 19 years of age - Cannot read/speak English - Living outside of the 3 study sites - Uncomfortable using a computer or internet - No access to a safe computer with internet - No access to safe email and mailing address - Does not report current violence from an intimate partner

Additional Information

Official title Testing an Internet-based Safety Decision Aid for Women Experiencing Intimate Partner Violence
Principal investigator Marilyn Ford-Gilboe, PhD
Description 1 in 3 Canadian women experience IPV in their lifetimes. Over time, chronic stress of living in an abusive relationship has been shown to contribute to depression, anxiety and PTSD. Safety planning to reduce the risk of physical and emotional harm in abusive situations is one of the most widely recommended interventions for women in abusive relationship. However, fewer than 1 in 5 Canadian women access support from violence services to assist them in safety planning. Rural, Aboriginal, racialized, immigrant, sexual minority women and women who prioritize their privacy face particular barriers to accessing information and support for safety planning. We adapted an interactive, online safety decision aid (SDA) recently developed and tested in the U.S. (Glass and colleagues, 2010) so that it applies to diverse groups of Canadian women, and extends the focus on emotional safety. The tool was revised based on a pilot testing for content and usability with 30 women (15 women who had experienced IPV and 15 service providers/experts). In this study, we test the effectiveness of this new tool, called "I CAN Plan 4 Safety" in a sample of 450 women from 3 provinces (ON, BC, New Brunswick). Women will be randomly assigned to complete either the personalized online safety decision aid (intervention) or an online tool which contains general risk and safety information (usual care control). Both tools are located on a confidential, password protected website. After initial completion of the online tools, they will be asked to login to the websites 3, 6 and 12 months later to complete standard outcome assessments. Women may access the information and resources in the online tools at any time for a 12 month period after they enrol in the study.
Trial information was received from ClinicalTrials.gov and was last updated in December 2015.
Information provided to ClinicalTrials.gov by Western University, Canada.