Methods: Data were collected as part of a longitudinal study on health, safety, empowerment, and service utilization among women healthcare patients who had experienced past-year IPV (n =169), involving face-to-face structured interviews at baseline and follow-up (6-9 months post-baseline). A subset (n = 50) of the participants also completed in-depth qualitative interviews at follow-up, which included questions about their participation in the study, including what motivated their participation and what it was like to share their IPV experience in the research context. These interviews serve as the basis for this presentation. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim; transcripts were analyzed using a team-based inductive approach including detailed coding, templated summaries, and analytic memoing to identify emerging themes.
Results: Four themes emerged within the domain of research participation: 1) Desire to help others as a motivation to participate; 2) Participating in research interviews on IPV may have direct benefits for participants; 3) Participating in research interviews on IPV can be emotionally straining; and 4) Comfort with the interviewer can facilitate participant sharing. Themes will be discussed and illustrated with exemplar quotes.
Conclusions and Implications: Findings indicate that women who have experienced recent IPV may be willing and interested, even eager, to participate in observational research focused on IPV, even if the research does not promise any direct benefits to participants. Participants’ strong desire to help others through their participation in research underscores the need for researchers, service providers, policy-makers, and educators, to work collaboratively toward dissemination, uptake, and integration of empirical evidence in their respective fields of practice, and to consider mechanisms for sharing findings and implications with participants and other stakeholders beyond the typical academic channels. The reported salutary benefits of participating in sensitively conducted research interviews may hold implications for clinical responses to IPV; for example, increasing opportunities for individuals to share their experiences in a safe context, to a sensitive, interested, and non-judgmental listener may improve self-reflection and foster motivation to seek change or further support.