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Understanding and measuring help-seeking barriers among intimate partner violence survivors : Mixed-methods validation study of the Icelandic Barriers to Help-Seeking for Trauma (BHS-TR) Scale

Understanding and measuring help-seeking barriers among intimate partner violence survivors : Mixed-methods validation study of the Icelandic Barriers to Help-Seeking for Trauma (BHS-TR) Scale


Title: Understanding and measuring help-seeking barriers among intimate partner violence survivors : Mixed-methods validation study of the Icelandic Barriers to Help-Seeking for Trauma (BHS-TR) Scale
Author: Þorvaldsdóttir, Karen Birna
Halldórsdóttir, Sigríður
Arnault, Denise M. Saint
Date: 2021-12-23
Language: English
Scope: 21
School: School of Health Sciences
Department: Doctoral program center
Series: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health; 19(1)
ISSN: 1661-7827
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19010104
Subject: Ofbeldi gegn konum; Sálræn áföll; Geðheilsa; Interpersonal trauma; Intimate partner violence; Help-seeking; Mental health; Trauma recovery; Survivor-centered
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/3195

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Citation:

Þorvaldsdóttir , K B , Halldórsdóttir , S & Arnault , D M S 2021 , ' Understanding and measuring help-seeking barriers among intimate partner violence survivors : Mixed-methods validation study of the Icelandic Barriers to Help-Seeking for Trauma (BHS-TR) Scale ' , International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health , vol. 19 , no. 1 , 104 . https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19010104

Abstract:

Intimate partner violence (IPV) against women is a global human rights violation of vast proportions and a severe public health problem. Despite high rates of adverse outcomes related to IPV, help-seeking and service utilization among survivors is low. This exploratory sequential mixed-methods study using a combined etic–emic approach describes the validation of the Icelandic Barriers to Help-Seeking for Trauma (BHS-TR) scale. The qualitative phase involved developing new items based on the experiences of 17 Icelandic IPV survivors, identifying barriers including beliefs that help-seeking is a sign of weakness, and the desire to safeguard oneself from re-traumatization. The quantitative phase examined the psychometrics of the BHS-TR in a sample of 137 IPV survivors in Iceland. Results supported an eight-factor structure (Financial Concerns; Unavailable/Not Helpful; External Constraints; Inconvenience; Weakness/Vulnerability; Problem Management Beliefs; Frozen/Confused; and Shame), which when grouped comprised two indices of Structural and Internal Barriers. The scale’s internal consistency was high (α  =  0.87), and the results provided evidence of convergent, discriminant, and known-group validity. This study adds to the growing literature supporting the advantages of applying mixed methods for instrument development and validation, and its results highlight the significance of giving rise to the voices of survivors. The BHS-TR is the first trauma-specific and survivor-centered measure of help-seeking barriers available in Iceland. It can be used to provide valuable information that may guide the development of evidence-based interventions to break down barriers and help survivors find ways to trauma recovery.

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