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Should community health workers offer support healthcare services to survivors of sexual violence? Anne Gatuguta, Barbra Katusiime, Janet Seeley, Manuela Colombini, Isaac Mwanzo and Karen DevriesA systematic review

By: Gatuguta, Anne.
Contributor(s): Katusiime, Barbara | Seeley, Janet | Colombini, Manuela | Mwanzo, Isaac | Devries, Karen.
Material type: materialTypeLabelArticleSeries: BMC International Health and Human Rights.Publisher: BMC, 2017Subject(s): ADULT SURVIVORS OF SEXUAL ABUSE | ADVOCACY | COMMUNITY SERVICES | COUNSELLING | HEALTH SERVICES | INTERVENTION | PREVENTION | SEXUAL VIOLENCE | SUPPORT SERVICES | SYSTEMATIC REVIEWS | VICTIMS OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE | BURMA | DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO | ISRAEL | SCOTLAND | UNITED KINGDOM | UNITED STATESOnline resources: Click here to access online In: BMC International Health and Human Rights, 2017, 17: 28Summary: Quantitative and qualitative studies reporting on CHWs and other community-level paraprofessional volunteer services for sexual violence were eligible for inclusion. CHWs and sexual violence were defined according to WHO criteria. The review was conducted according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Quality of included studies was assessed using two quality assessment tools for quantitative, and, the methodology checklist by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence for qualitative studies. Data were extracted and analysed separately for quantitative and qualitative studies and results integrated using a framework approach. Results: Seven studies conducted in six countries (Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burma, United States of America, Scotland, Israel) met the inclusion criteria. Different models of care had diverse CHWs roles including awareness creation, identifying, educating and building relationships with survivors, psychosocial support and follow up. Although sociocultural factors may influence CHWs’ performance and willingness of survivors to use their services, studies often did not report on CHWs characteristics. Few studies assessed acceptability of CHWs’ to survivors or feasibility of delivery of services. However, participants mentioned a range of benefits including decreased incidence of violence, CHWs being trusted, approachable, non-judgmental and compassionate. Challenges identified were high workload, confidentiality issues and community norms influencing performance. Conclusions: There is a dearth of research on CHWs services for sexual violence. Findings suggest that involving CHWs may be beneficial, but potential challenges and harms related to CHW-provided services exist. No different models of CHW-provided care have been robustly evaluated for effects on patient outcomes. Further research to establish survivors’ views on these services, and, their effectiveness is desperately needed. (Authors' abstract). Record #6306
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BMC International Health and Human Rights, 2017, 17: 28

Quantitative and qualitative studies reporting on CHWs and other community-level paraprofessional volunteer services for sexual violence were eligible for inclusion. CHWs and sexual violence were defined according to WHO criteria. The review was conducted according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Quality of included studies was assessed using two quality assessment tools for quantitative, and, the methodology checklist by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence for qualitative studies. Data were extracted and analysed separately for quantitative and qualitative studies and results integrated using a framework approach.

Results:
Seven studies conducted in six countries (Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burma, United States of America, Scotland, Israel) met the inclusion criteria. Different models of care had diverse CHWs roles including awareness creation, identifying, educating and building relationships with survivors, psychosocial support and follow up. Although sociocultural factors may influence CHWs’ performance and willingness of survivors to use their services, studies often did not report on CHWs characteristics. Few studies assessed acceptability of CHWs’ to survivors or feasibility of delivery of services. However, participants mentioned a range of benefits including decreased incidence of violence, CHWs being trusted, approachable, non-judgmental and compassionate. Challenges identified were high workload, confidentiality issues and community norms influencing performance.

Conclusions:
There is a dearth of research on CHWs services for sexual violence. Findings suggest that involving CHWs may be beneficial, but potential challenges and harms related to CHW-provided services exist. No different models of CHW-provided care have been robustly evaluated for effects on patient outcomes. Further research to establish survivors’ views on these services, and, their effectiveness is desperately needed. (Authors' abstract). Record #6306