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Open Access Highly Accessed Study protocol

Implementing mentor mothers in family practice to support abused mothers: Study protocol

Maartje JW Loeffen1*, Sylvie H Lo Fo Wong1, Fred PJF Wester2, Miranda GH Laurant3 and Antoine LM Lagro-Janssen1

Author Affiliations

1 Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Department of Primary and Community Care, Gender & Women's Health, Postbox 9101, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands

2 Radboud University Nijmegen, Faculty Social Sciences, Section Methods and Techniques, Postbox 9104, 6500 HE Nijmegen, The Netherlands

3 Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Scientific Institute for Quality of Healthcare, Postbox 9101, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands

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BMC Family Practice 2011, 12:113  doi:10.1186/1471-2296-12-113

Published: 18 October 2011



Intimate partner violence is highly prevalent and mostly affects women with negative consequences for their physical and mental health. Children often witness the violence which has negative consequences for their well-being too. Care offered by family physicians is often rejected because abused women experience a too high threshold. Mentor mother support, a low threshold intervention for abused mothers in family practice, proved to be feasible and effective in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The primary aim of this study is to investigate which factors facilitate or hinder the implementation of mentor mother support in family practice. Besides we evaluate the effect of mentor mother support in a different region.


An observational study with pre- and posttests will be performed. Mothers with home living children or pregnant women who are victims of intimate partner violence will be offered mentor mother support by the participating family physicians. The implementation process evaluation consists of focus groups, interviews and questionnaires. In the effect evaluation intimate partner violence, the general health of the abused mother, the mother-child relationship, social support, and acceptance of professional help will be measured twice (t = 0 and t = 6 months) by questionnaires, reporting forms, medical records and interviews with the abused mothers. Qualitative coding will be used to analyze the data from the reporting forms, medical records, focus groups, interviews, and questionnaires. Quantitative data will be analyzed with descriptive statistics, chi square test and t-test matched pairs.


While other intervention studies only evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of the intervention, our primary aim is to evaluate the implementation process and thereby investigate which factors facilitate or hinder implementation of mentor mother support in family practice.