VEGA Activity Update – November 2015

Since the National Guidance and Implementation Committee (NGIC) and Evidence Review Group meetings in June 2015, and working with input from members, VEGA has made significant progress across our project areas (see Overview of Activities Figure). Details on the status of these activities as of late November 2015 follow:

Evidence Reviews:


Child Maltreatment

The child maltreatment systematic review addresses the prevention of impairment and recurrence associated with child maltreatment, as well as child welfare outcomes. Guidance arising from the review will cover identification, initial response, and effective interventions for children exposed to child maltreatment, as well as effective interventions for adults exposed to maltreatment as children. Identification and effective interventions targeted at perpetrators of child maltreatment will be addressed as well.

This review has a slightly longer timeline than those below since there is no current comprehensive review on which to build.

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)

Many high quality systematic evidence reviews on identification of, and response to, IPV already exist. Therefore, our IPV review is building and updating, as well as being contextualized for Canada. The main searches are complete and data extraction is set to begin. As with the other areas, we will register these reviews online so that the work is not duplicated by other researchers.

Children’s Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence (CE-IPV)

The children’s exposure to IPV review addresses interventions, which is based on an existing review, and a new review of evidence about identification of children exposed to IPV across a range of health and social settings, including schools. Both parts of the review are well underway, with the main searches complete and data extraction being conducted. We have submitted the protocols for these reviews to an online review registration site so that others are aware of the work.

The reviews of quantitative research evidence will be augmented with syntheses of existing knowledge of various kinds, including qualitative research, to understand child, parent and health care and social service provider views on identification and response, as well as linking evidence from these reviews to what is currently available in Canada.

Specific populations

For all three reviews, guidance specific to special groups who are exposed to these forms of family violence, such as gender-diverse people, Indigenous people, those with disabilities, people new to Canada, and those living in rural areas, will also be provided.

International Links

International collaborations with colleagues from PreVAiL ensure that we are bringing in global perspectives on evidence, guidance and practice that are of relevance to our project objectives. These include:

  • Gene Feder and the UK research group on the children’s exposure to IPV review
  • Karen Devries and the UK research group on the Mandatory Reporting
  • Strong links with the two main departments at WHO responsible for sexual and reproductive health and violence prevention, including membership on the evidence review groups of WHO and Pan-American Health Organization partners.

Consultations and Environmental Scans:

Initial consultations with NGIC members were completed, with follow-up planned for late 2015/early 2016.

Environmental scans across a number of topic areas, including existing family violence curricula, have been initiated and are proceeding.

Of note, a number of areas identified by the NGIC where additional knowledge is needed to address practical, point-of-care considerations, are being more fully explored, as described in a previous entry. Specifically, work has begun on two priority knowledge syntheses to address key practice considerations raised by NGIC members:

Mandatory Reporting:

    Based on feedback from the NGIC group and the child maltreatment evidence review group, a team of researchers from Canada and the UK, led by VEGA, are working on an evidence-based summary of mandatory reporting, including what is known about its effects as well as its implementation across low-, middle-, and high-income countries. While high-level analytical research assessing the impact of mandatory reporting is scarce, this team hopes to summarize relevant qualitative and quantitative research on this topic to assist mandated reporters in understanding the potential benefits of mandatory reporting (even when associated services are not available), the potential harms of mandatory reporting (even when associated services are available), and solutions for mitigating harms.

Trauma & Violence Informed Care & Equity Considerations:

    Trauma and violence-informed care (TVIC) will be reviewed as both a theoretical and practice concept, including how it relates to providing care to children, women and men exposed to family violence. Building on the theoretical and intervention work of PreVAiL and other colleagues, this set of reviews will also incorporate the concept of health equity and cultural safety, integrating key practice considerations to enhance safe and respectful care during provider-patient/client interactions. Several concurrent and integrated reviews are planned (see Figure).

Figure: TVIC and Equity Reviews

Knowledge Mobilization & Evaluation:

In additional to this website, VEGA has acquired a Twitter handle and developed a logo and branding to present a consistent “face”. The Project Summary is publicly available on the home page, as are these project updates. Slide decks and other communication materials have also been prepared, and initial presentations of the project have been made at various events.

We are delighted that Dr. Anita Kothari, Western University, an international expert in knowledge translation in public health, will be taking a lead role in evolving and evaluating our knowledge mobilization strategy and our partnership model with the NGIC members, and beyond. A number of potential engagement strategies are under development, and members will have options regarding when, how, and how much, to contribute.

Guidance & Curriculum Development; Evaluation Metrics:

Forthcoming; stay tuned!

Diagram of Overview of Activities

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