Exploring the feasibility of email-mediated interaction in survivors of abuse

R. Constantino, P. A. Crane, B. S. Noll, W. M. Doswell, B. Braxter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


There is a growing use of email-based provision of information, development of health-related skills and interventions; however, use of email to assist women and children experiencing abuse after receiving Protection from Abuse (PFA) court order has not been explored. The specific aim of this research was to test the feasibility of an email device called MIVO for use in interacting with women and children after receiving PFA. This qualitative design used a three-step recruitment, screening and email interaction with mothers and their adolescent child after obtaining informed consent and training in the use of an email device. Sample included six pairs of mother and child (n = 12) who have received a PFA within the past 6 months. Demographic data were gathered using the sociodemographic questionnaire. Qualitative data were gathered using email messages from mother and child pairs. Results showed that email interaction is a feasible and acceptable way of providing support and information to survivors of abuse after their PFA. The following themes in their order and rank of appearance were found in the email interaction between the nurse and survivors: (1) safety issues; (2) job-related issues; (3) school-related issues; (4) parenting-related issues; and (5) health-related issues. Themes identified for the children were school work and friends. Privacy, confidentiality and respect for individual rights are paramount in email interactions. Email interaction is useful in education, screening, safety instructions and follow-up care. Technological devices such as MIVO may have usefulness as an email interaction device among women, their child and a nurse to reduce their risk for further interpersonal violence/abuse and to increase disclosure of abuse. Healthcare providers need to identify technological developments, and through evidence-based research examine their feasibility and adaptability for translation into practice specifically, in caring for survivors of abuse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-301
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Abuse
  • Email
  • Feasibility
  • Interaction
  • Phenomenology
  • Translation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health


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