Patterns of Domestic Violence and Alcohol Consumption Among Women and the Effectiveness of a Brief Intervention in a Household Setting

Carla Ferreira de Paula Gebara; Cleusa Pinheiro Ferri; Lelio Moura Lourenço; Marcel de Toledo Vieira; Fernanda Monteiro de Castro Bhona; Ana Regina Noto


BMC Womens Health. 2015;15(78) 

In This Article


Background: Domestic violence and harmful alcohol consumption are considered major public health problems worldwide. These phenomena often co-occur, and they share several risk factors. Nevertheless, few in-depth studies have supported integrated interventions for both phenomena, in particular among Latin American women. This project will study the consumption of alcoholic beverages among women and its relationship with patterns of domestic violence; furthermore, it will assess the effect of a brief intervention (BI) aimed at modifying these behaviors using a community household sample.

Methods/design: This project is divided into two studies. Study 1 will employ a cross-sectional observational design and will be conducted using a household sample of adult women (approximate sample size = 1600) to assess harmful alcohol consumption and domestic violence patterns. Study 2, will be a randomized clinical trial based on specific cases from Study 1, assessing the effect of a brief intervention on women who exhibit harmful levels of alcohol consumption (AUDIT ≥ 8). Approximately 73 women will be assigned to one of two groups, either a treated group (TG) or a control group (CG). A sociodemographic questionnaire, a questionnaire concerning general health and substance use, and four other standardized instruments (i.e., the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test [AUDIT; used to investigate problems related to alcohol consumption], the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale [CES-D; used to measure depressive symptoms], and the Revised Conflict Tactics Scales and Parent–child Conflict Tactics Scales [CTS2 and CTSPC; used to obtain information on violence among couples and between parents and children, respectively]) will be used to collect data.

Discussion: The study protocol will employ a household survey of a representative sample from a neighborhood in a middle income country, where well-conducted household surveys remain rare. The present work represents a step toward a better understanding of violence in women's lives and its interaction with alcohol consumption and expands the discussion on the potential strategies for public health actions seeking to prevent both domestic violence and harmful alcohol consumption.