Intimate partner violence (IPV) is common in patients attending health-care services and is associated with a range of health problems. The majority of IPV perpetrators are men, and a substantial minority of men are victims, yet health-care professionals have little evidence or guidance on how to respond to male patients who perpetrate or experience violence in their intimate relationships.
We conducted a systematic review to determine the effectiveness of interventions for male perpetrators or victims of IPV in health settings. Online databases, reference lists, Google Scholar, and gray literature were searched, and inclusion/exclusion criteria were applied. Narrative synthesis methods were used due to the heterogeneity of study types and outcome measures.
Fourteen studies describing 10 interventions met our inclusion criteria: nine randomized controlled trials, four cohort studies, and one case-control study. Interventions were predominantly therapeutic in nature and many were conducted in alcohol treatment settings.
Overall, the evidence for effectiveness of interventions in health-care settings was weak, although IPV interventions conducted concurrently with alcohol treatment show some promise. More work is urgently needed in health-care services to determine what interventions might be effective, and in what settings, to improve the response to male perpetrators or victims of IPV.