Development, validation, and pilot implementation of the minimum datasheet for a domestic violence registry system: The case of a developing country



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Journal Article

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Publication Title

PloS one





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BACKGROUND: Domestic violence (DV) is a universal issue and an important public health priority. Establishing a DV Registry System (DVRS) can help to systematically integrate data from several sources and provide valid and reliable information on the scope and severity of harms. The main objective of this study was to develop, validate, and pilot-test a minimum datasheet for a DVRS to register DV victims in medical facilities. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study was conducted in two main phases. Phase one includes developing the datasheet for registration of DV in the DVRS. In phase two, the datasheet designed in the previous step was used in a pilot implementation of the DVRS for 12 months to find practical challenges. The preliminary datasheet was first developed using information on similar registry programs and guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO) and then reviewed by four expert panels. Through a two-round Delphi technique, experts evaluated the instrument using the Content Validity Index (CVI) and Content Validity Ratio (CVR). The consistency of the responses was evaluated by test-retest analysis. Finally, two physicians in two forensic medical clinics registered the victims of physical and/or sexual violence perpetrated by a family member. RESULTS: Preliminary datasheet consisted of 31 items. In the first round of Delphi, fifteen items had good content validity (I-CVI and CVR) and were kept, and seven items were moved to the next round. Also, in the first round of Delphi, experts suggested adding three items, including history of the violence, custody of the child, and custody of the elderly. All items evaluated in the second round were kept due to good CVR and CVI scores. As a result of Test-retest correlation coefficients for self-reprted items, two items including perpetrator's alcohol and drug use status were excluded (r(30) = +.43, and +.38, p< .01, two-tailed, respectively). Finally, 24 items were included in the datasheet including 15 items for individuals' characteristics (victims' characteristics and perpetrators' characteristics), eight items for incidents' characteristics, and one item for past history of violence experience. A total of 369 cases were registered from September 23, 2019, to July 21, 2020. The majority of the reported cases were female (82%) and were 19-40 years old. No physical and/or sexual violence was reported from rural areas, which calls upon researchers to explore how services for detecting and treating the victims can be made accessible to these areas. CONCLUSION: DVRS can show trends in DV by age, sex, the context of the violence, and incidence characteristics at every point in time. This is particularly valuable in planning and prioritizing research areas and interventions for DV prevention. Additionally, DVRS can be linked to other disease registry programs which can contribute to continuity and coordination of care, and major research in the future. Although a DVRS can be a promising initiative in identifying the areas in need of urgent interventions, there is no guarantee for its proper implementation due to limited resources and other challenges.

Open Access