Technology-Based Mental Health Interventions for Domestic Violence Victims Amid COVID-19

Zhaohui Su, Ali Cheshmehzangi, Dean McDonnell, Hengcai Chen, Junaid Ahmad, Sabina Šegalo, Claudimar Pereira da Veiga

Research output: Journal PublicationReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Domestic violence is a threat to human dignity and public health. Mounting evidence shows that domestic violence erodes personal and public health, spawning issues such as lifelong mental health challenges. To further compound the situation, COVID-19 and societies’ poor response to the pandemic have not only worsened the domestic violence crisis but also disrupted mental health services for domestic violence victims. While technology-based health solutions can overcome physical constraints posed by the pandemic and offer timely support to address domestic violence victims’ mental health issues, there is a dearth of research in the literature. To bridge the research gap, in this study, we aim to examine technology-based mental health solutions for domestic violence victims amid COVID-19. Methods: A literature review was conducted to examine solutions that domestic violence victims can utilize to safeguard and improve their mental health amid COVID19. Databases including PubMed, PsycINFO, and Scopus were utilized for the literature search. The search was focused on four themes: domestic violence, mental health, technology-based interventions, and COVID-19. A reverse search of pertinent references was conducted in Google Scholar. The social ecological model was utilized to systematically structure the review findings. Results: The findings show that a wide array of technology-based solutions has been proposed to address mental health challenges faced by domestic violence victims amid COVID-19. However, none of these proposals is based on empirical evidence amid COVID-19. In terms of social and ecological levels of influence, most of the interventions were developed on the individual level, as opposed to the community level or social level, effectively placing the healthcare responsibility on the victims rather than government and health officials. Furthermore, most of the articles failed to address risks associated with utilizing technology-based interventions (e.g., privacy issues) or navigating the online environment (e.g., cyberstalking). Conclusion: Overall, our findings highlight the need for greater research endeavors on the research topic. Although technology-based interventions have great potential in resolving domestic violence victims’ mental health issues, risks associated with these health solutions should be comprehensively acknowledged and addressed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4286
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • domestic violence
  • mental health
  • social ecological model
  • technology-based interventions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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