Nursing Scholars Seek to Determine If At-Risk Women Are More Likely to Report Domestic Abuse Online

camille_burnettA new study led Camille Burnett, professor in the School of Nursing at the University of Virginia, seeks to determine if pregnant women are more likely to report domestic violence in a computer survey than they are to a practicing clinician. The program’s developers estimate that pregnant women who are given tablet computers to communicate with healthcare professionals will be one third more likely to report domestic abuse than women in face-to-face contacts with clinical staff.

Professor Burnett is analyzing the effect the domestic violence enhanced home intervention (DOVE) system. The Dove system was developed by Linda Bullock, associate dean for research and the Jeannette Lancaster Alumni Professor of Nursing at the University of Virginia and Phyllis Sharps, a professor and director of the Center for Global Nursing at the School of Nursing at Johns Hopkins University.

Professors Bullock and Sharps developed the system and trained practitioners to administer the system to 4,000 at-risk pregnant women in rural and urban Virginia, Baltimore, and Missouri over the past two years. Professor Burnett is currently analyzing the results of the study.

Dr. Burnett earned a bachelor’s degree  in nursing from the University of Alberta. She holds a master’s of public administration degree in political science and a Ph.D. in nursing, health promotion and healing stream from the University of Western Ontario. Her analysis of the program’s results is funded by a $321,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health.

linda_bullockBefore coming to the University of Virginia, Dr. Bullock taught at the University of Missouri. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from Texas Woman’s University. She earned a Ph.D. in public health from the University of Otago in New Zealand. Dr. Bullock states that while they are awaiting the analysis of the results “we believe we are on the right path to making a difference for our nation’s most vulnerable women, who, with their unborn and small children, are at great risk of abuse.”

sharps-phyllis-bioProfessor Sharps has been on the faculty at Johns Hopkins University since 2001. She is a graduate of the Nursing University of Maryland in Baltimore and holds a master degree from the University of Delaware and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland. The development of the DOVE system was supported by a $4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

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