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Mental Health Outcomes in Abused Women

Award Information

Department of Health and Human Services
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2008 / SBIR
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Small Business Information
565 E. Swedesford Road suite 200 Wayne, PA 19087-
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2008
Title: Mental Health Outcomes in Abused Women
Agency: HHS
Contract: 2R44HD054079-02
Award Amount: $1,050,965.00


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Domestic violence is a pervasive problem in our society that impacts women and their families as well as the multiple social institutions and agencies that must grapple with its effects: Child Welfare, Mental Health, La w Enforcement, and Domestic Violence. Women who are abused are likely to find themselves in a pattern of revictimization, endangering not just themselves but their children as well. The Polaris DV-MH system will help providers' better coordinate their trea tment strategies as they work with women and their families to establish a safe home, improve well-being, and reduce the risk of revictimization. Polaris DV-MH is a computer-supported assessment system designed to address long-term mental health and functi oning issues that are a result of exposure to trauma. The system is intended for use by domestic violence agencies and other providers who treat abused women. It will enable interagency treatment team members (from physicians to legal advocates to child we lfare and domestic violence case workers) to access case information useful in monitoring recovery from co-morbid mental health problems and abuse. Women will complete assessments on the Internet using HIPAA compliant software; once finished, a clinical re port is automatically generated for immediate use in the treatment process. Polaris DV-MH reports are used to improve the detection of prior abuse, co-morbid mental health problems, and a woman's compensating strengths that move her and her family towards improved resilience. It will improve the ability for all agencies to detect factors associated with revictimization as well as the subtle changes in relational schema that will help the woman avoid revictimization in future relationships. Polaris DV-MH wil l contribute to the safety and well-being of women and their children by the assessment of mental health co-morbidity as well as relational schema associated with future revictimization. The Phase II specific aims are to: (1) enhance the DV-MH Update Repor t to include indicators associated with revictimization; 2) modify software to administer update assessments in English and Spanish; (3) build an algorithm to detect inauthentic responses in abused women, (4) develop predictive models for revictimization, (5) develop automated aggregate data access and reports, (6) write implementation and system documentation and (7) generate web-accessible provider training materials. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Polaris DV-MH will contribute to the safety and well-being of w omen and their children by the assessment of mental health co-morbidity as well as relational schema associated with future revictimization. Polaris DV-MH will provide multi-agency domestic violence professionals with reports documenting progress in changi ng high- risk attitudes, behaviors, and the relational schema to self and others that put a woman and her children at further risk for violence. It will also provide treatment teams with information relating to co-morbid mental health conditions that impac t the woman's rate of recovery from abuse as well as information about her readiness to change relational patterns. It will improve the quality and coordination of services provided by providers seeking to support women in their long-term recovery from abu se, to develop compensating resources to effectively care for themselves and any children who are also dealing with the impact of abuse. Key components of Polaris DV-MH include: (1) focusing on the common cross-agency goal of preventing revictimization; (2 ) streamlining interagency communication; and (3) emphasizing women's empowerment and resilience from abuse. Polaris DV-MH is designed to support domestic violence professionals as they: (1) decide if mental health intervention is warranted; (2) decide if the woman is in immediate danger from the abuser; (3) assess the woman's strengths that may be useful in treatment planning; (4) assess factors related to v

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EIN/Tax ID: 481301061
Number of Employees: N/A
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No