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The feasibility of delivering the ADVANCE digital intervention to reduce intimate partner abuse by men receiving substance use treatment: protocol for a non-randomised multi-centre feasibility study and embedded process evaluation

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Gail Gilchrist, Sabine Landau, Sandi Dheensa, Juliet Henderson, Amy Johnson, Beverly Love, Laura Potts, Polly Radcliffe, Zohra Zenasni, Steve Parrott, Jinshuo Li, Kate Thomson, Georges Jacques Dwyer, Richard Turner, Gemma Halliwell, Cassandra Berbary, Ciara Bergman, Gene Feder, Caroline Easton, Cat Papastavrou Brooks & 1 more Elizabeth Gilchrist

Original languageEnglish
Article number163
JournalPilot and Feasibility Studies
Issue number1
PublishedDec 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: This manuscript summarises independent research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) under its Programme Grants for Applied Research programme (RP-PG-1214-20009). The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care. Funding Information: The named authors submit this publication on behalf of all the ADVANCE research programme investigators including Professor David Gadd, Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Manchester; Professor Louise M Howard, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London. Publisher Copyright: © 2022, The Author(s).

King's Authors


Background: Compared to men in the general population, men in substance use treatment are more likely to perpetrate intimate partner abuse (IPA). The ADVANCE group intervention for men in substance use treatment is tailored to address substance use and IPA in an integrated way. In a feasibility trial pre-COVID, men who received the ADVANCE intervention via face-to-face group delivery showed reductions in IPA perpetration. Due to COVID-19, ADVANCE was adapted for remote digital delivery. Methods/design: This mixed-methods non-randomised feasibility study, with a nested process evaluation, will explore the feasibility and acceptability of delivering the ADVANCE digital intervention to men in substance use treatment who have perpetrated IPA towards a female partner in the past year. Sixty men will be recruited from seven substance use treatment services in Great Britain. The ADVANCE digital intervention comprises a preparatory one-to-one session with a facilitator to set goals, develop a personal safety plan, and increase motivation and a preparatory online group to prepare men for taking part in the intervention. The core intervention comprises six fortnightly online group sessions and 12 weekly self-directed website sessions to recap and practise skills learned in the online group sessions. Each website session is followed by a one-to-one video/phone coaching session with a facilitator. Men will also receive their usual substance use treatment. Men’s female (ex) partners will be invited to provide outcome data and offered support from integrated safety services (ISS). Outcome measures for men and women will be sought post intervention (approximately 4 months post male baseline interview). Feasibility parameters to be estimated include eligibility, suitability, consent, recruitment, attendance, retention and follow-up rates. In-depth interviews or focus groups will explore the intervention’s acceptability to participants, facilitators and ISS workers. A secondary focus of the study will estimate pre-post-differences in outcome measures covering substance use, IPA, mental health, self-management, health and social care service use, criminal justice contacts and quality of life. Discussion: Findings will inform the design of a multicentre randomised controlled trial evaluating the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of the ADVANCE digital intervention for reducing IPA. Trial registration: The feasibility study was prospectively registered: ISRCTN66619273.

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