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To understand the types and contexts of rehabilitation care currently available for survivors of IPV, opportunities identified in the literature for rehabilitation care, and IPV awareness and education of rehabilitation care providers.
Ten databases were comprehensively searched to identify articles related to IPV and the rehabilitation professions of interest. This search was complimented by a grey literature search of relevant IPV, gender-based violence, and rehabilitation organizations. Searches were not limited by language, year of publication, or geographic location.
Two reviewers independently assessed articles for inclusion based on the following criteria: (1) Describe or evaluate a rehabilitation intervention or opportunity for intervention, or an educational or awareness intervention for rehabilitation professionals; AND (2) focus on selected rehabilitation professionals (occupational therapist, physiotherapist, speech language pathologists, physiatrists); AND (3) focus on interventions for or about adult survivors of IPV.
One researcher independently extracted data which was peer reviewed by a second reviewer. Extracted information included publication details (author, year, location), study details (objective, design, setting), and information on study populations, interventions, and outcomes, when appropriate.
Included articles ranged from primary research articles to clinical newsletter articles. While all rehabilitation professionals of interest were represented in the included articles, most focused on occupational therapy (>70%). A large majority of articles (>70%) suggested opportunities for rehabilitation professionals to support survivors of IPV. Most provided an overview of IPV followed by recommendations for rehabilitation professionals in supporting survivors. The remaining examined specific interventions for IPV survivors (< 15%) or assessed for knowledge, attitudes, or beliefs about IPV (< 15%).
To our knowledge, this is the first scoping review addressing the rehabilitation literature for IPV survivors. Though still preliminary, these findings suggest there is an awareness of IPV among rehabilitation professionals, the importance of identifying IPV in clients, and the ways in which rehabilitation professionals are uniquely situated to support survivors of IPV. There remains opportunity to explore interventions designed specifically for IPV survivors.
The authors have no conflicts to disclose.
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