Statement of purpose Due to cultural and psychosocial barriers, immigrant women prefer to exhaust informal resources, including religious leaders, before seeking professional help for intimate partner violence (IPV). Based on research and theory, we used Intervention Mapping to create a virtual simulation training (4 modules, 20 minutes each) for Korean American religious leaders on primary, secondary, and tertiary IPV prevention in their congregation. This presentation discusses the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic presented to study participation and the evaluation of this intervention.
Methods/Approach During 2020, we evaluated the intervention in a randomized trial (n=100) using online surveys (baseline, 3-month, 6-month). When the first stay-at-home order was issued in mid-March, 95% of participants had finished the baseline survey. However, 53% of the intervention group was still completing the intervention with others at various study stages. The 6-month survey included questions about the impact of COVID-19.
Results The online survey and intervention facilitated participation in the study—47%, and some participants had extra time because church services were closed—27%. However, COVID-19 had numerous adverse effects on program participation and emotional functioning: difficulty answering application questions due to lack of interaction with parishioners—33%, being too busy to participate fully—11%, overwhelmed—23%, uncertain about their church’s future—51%, financial strain—30%, unable to invite community organizations to educate the congregation on family violence—60%, reduced opportunities to apply new skills learned from the intervention—45%.
Conclusions The virtual simulation and online data collection facilitated the trial’s completion, but the toll of the pandemic reduced opportunities to demonstrate new skills.
Significance Online interventions and evaluations are a safe way to deliver an intervention during a pandemic. The information gathered about the pandemic’s emotional and practical impact was fundamental to understanding the program‘s impact.
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