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About IRIS

The pilot study, Preventing Domestic Violence and Abuse (PreDoVe) was conducted to measure the prevalence of domestic violence (DV) among women attending general practice in Hackney, London. The results showed a high prevalence of DV experienced by women attending general practice substantially higher than that recorded in the general population. It concluded that health care professionals should maintain a high level of awareness of the possibility of DV among their patients. More information can be found in our Publications section.

IRIS was the first European randomised controlled trial of an intervention to improve the health care response to domestic violence and abuse. It aimed to determine the cost-effectiveness of a general practice based domestic violence training and support programme and measure two outcomes:

  • Referral of women to a domestic violence agency providing advocacy
  • Recording of disclosure of domestic violence in the patient's medical record

It took place in Bristol and Hackney in 48 practices during 2007-10. 12 practices in each site were allocated to the intervention part of the trial and 12 in each site were in the control part.

Women attending intervention practices were 22 times more likely than those attending control practices to have a discussion with their clinician about a referral to an advocate. This resulted in them being six times more likely to be referred to an advocate. Women attending intervention practices were three times more likely than those attending control practices to have a recorded identification of DVA in their medical record. (The full trial paper can be found in our Publications section.) The results also showed IRIS to be a cost effective intervention.

After the trial, Bristol PCT and Public Health City & Hackney both commissioned the IRIS model which continues to date in both areas. The Health Foundation who funded the trial agreed a further two years' funding for phase 2 of IRIS to implement the model nationally in other areas of the UK. The national IRIS team provides commissioning guidance and a training for trainers' programme to support areas to implement the model .