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12-01-2022 | Original Paper Open Access

Feasibility and clinical usefulness of the Unified Protocol in women survivors of violence

Journal of Child and Family Studies
Jorge Osma, Alba B. Quilez-Orden, Vanesa Ferreres-Galán, María C. Meseguer, Silvia Ariza
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Violence against women is a serious public health problem. Worldwide, one in three women experiences violence throughout their lives. According to the triple vulnerability theory, being a survivor of violence could constitute a psychological vulnerability that would favor the appearance of emotional disorders, affecting their health, their style of parenting, and family well-being. The objective of this study is to verify the feasibility and usefulness of Unified Protocol (UP) in a group format for improving emotion regulation in women survivors of violence attended in the Specific Child and Adolescent Intervention Team (SCAIT), a social community service. The sample consists of 11 women who have experienced different types of violence who received the UP through 11 weekly, two-hour long and in group format sessions. Assessments were conducted at pre and post intervention and at 3, 6, and 12 months follow-up. The results of the Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) show an increase in quality of life (including family relationships), self-esteem and extraversion scores, and a reduction in interference (including family life), neuroticism, somatization, anxiety, emotional lack of control, negative affect, depression, and emotional rejection scores. This evolution of the scores with the MANOVA takes into account all the evaluation time points (post, and follow-up at 3, 6 and 12 months). The results were statistically significant (p < 0.05), and had large effect sizes (η2p > 0.14). In addition, the reliable change index was calculated to assess the change at an individual level of each of the participants for the different outcomes. 90.9% of the participants rated the quality of the program received as “excellent” and we obtained a high rate of session attendance (82.64%). These results justify the need for randomized controlled clinical studies to demonstrate the feasibility and clinical efficacy of the UP in this context. This intervention would allow to address the needs of this population, by offering them comprehensive care and improving their mental health from a biopsychosocial model. Likewise, it might indirectly improve the well-being of the rest of the family members.

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