Adaptability to acute stress among women survivors of intimate partner violence: protocol for a mixed-methods cross-sectional study in a laboratory setting (BRAW study)

Ximena Goldberg, Carme Espelt, Diego Palao, Roser Nadal, Antonio Armario

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1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Intimate partner violence (IPV) is the most common and alarming form of violence against women, affecting around 30% of all women around the world. Using an integrative methodology, we approach IPV as a form of chronic exposure to severe stress that alters the stress-response system of exposed women. The aim of this study is to test the hypothesis that sustained exposure to IPV in women confers a vulnerability-to-stress profile characterised by higher neuroendocrine and behavioural responsiveness associated with a selective attentional processing bias towards threat. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: Women between 21 and 50 years old from the area of Barcelona (Spain) will be invited to participate. A sample of 82 women exposed to IPV and 41 women not exposed to IPV will be included and assessed for attentional bias and response to acute stress in a laboratory condition (the Trier Social Stress Task). The study will include quantitative and qualitative measures of cognitive performance, neuroendocrine activity and face-to-face interviews to obtain an integrative description of the stress-response profile of these women. Results are expected to help build resilience strategies with a long-lasting impression on women's healthy functioning. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The study has obtained the approval of the local Ethics Committee ('Comité de Ética de Investigación Parc Taulí de Sabadell'; 2 018 551 V.1.2 June 2018). Besides the communication of results in peer-reviewed papers and scientific congresses, the project will inform guidelines and recommendations through policy-dialogues and workshops with relevant regional and national representatives for future work and prevention strategies. Participants will be invited to be an active part in the dissemination strategy focussed on raising awareness of coping limitations and abilities that women themselves will be able to identify throughout the study. TRIAL REGISTRATION DETAILS: The study has been registered at the ClinicalTrails.gov database (Identifier number: NCT03623555; Pre-results).

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)e036561
JournalBMJ Open
Volume10
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020

Keywords

  • adult psychiatry
  • mental health
  • neurobiology
  • qualitative research

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