Methods: We systematically searched 11 computerized article databases and 15 organization websites to identify peer-reviewed and grey literature evaluating co-located IPV/SV service models. Studies were required to be published in English before August 2019, analyze quantitative or qualitative data, and be conducted in the United States. Searches yielded 16,186 unduplicated documents. Title, abstract, and full text review identified 12 studies that met inclusion criteria. An additional two studies were identified through reference harvesting, yielding a total of 13 studies for review. Each study was systematically abstracted by two team members to synthesize information on study aims, document type, research design, data collection and measurement, sample, analysis, and key findings.
Results: The majority of documents were governmental or agency reports (k=8). Eleven studies evaluated FJCs, whereas two focused on other co-location models. Evaluation types included needs assessment (k=1), evaluability assessment (k=1), formative process (k=1), process (k=6), outcome (k=1), and a combination of process and outcome evaluations (k=3). Data sources included administrative data (k=7), observations (k=2), documents (k=1), surveys (k=7), interviews (k=9), and focus groups (k=5); the majority used multiple sources. Twelve studies examined organization/implementation variables such as infrastructure, operations, funding, partnerships and collaboration, and provider perceptions of benefits/challenges. Nine studies examined client-related variables such as characteristics, service use, perceptions of the model, satisfaction, and outcomes. The few studies examining outcomes suggest promising findings in terms of criminal justice benchmarks and survivor well-being (k=4).
Implications: Limited research has rigorously examined the effectiveness of IPV/SV co-located approaches. A challenge to evaluating these approaches is that they are complex and adaptive. Complex and adaptive interventions are typically flexible, span several service sectors, include multiple components, and involve a variety of service delivery behaviors and target outcomes. Notably, despite the increasing recognition of complex and adaptive interventions as well as the proliferation of frameworks for evaluating such interventions, the literature on IPV/SV co-location has not benefited from the application of this growing body of work. We will highlight ways to integrate these frameworks into future evaluations of co-location.