Tools for the identification of victims of domestic abuse and modern slavery in remote services: A systematic review

Bella Tomsett, Johanna Alvarez, Nigel Sherriff, Natalie Edelman, Anne Gatuguta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To explore the technology-based tools available for supporting the identification of victims of domestic abuse and modern slavery in remote services and consider the benefits and challenges posed by the existing tools.

Methods: We searched six academic databases. Studies were considered for inclusion if they were published in English between 2000-2023.The QuADS quality appraisal tool was used to assess the methodological quality of included studies. A narrative synthesis was conducted using the convergent integrated approach.

Results: Twenty-four studies were included, of which two were professional guidelines; each reported on a distinct technology-based tool for remote services. All tools related to domestic abuse and 21 focused on screening for intimate partner violence among young and mid-life women (18-65)in high-income countries. The review did not identify tools that support the identification of victims of modern slavery. We identified eight common themes of tool strengths, highlighting that the remote approach to screening was practical, acceptable to victims, and, in some circumstances, elicited better outcomes than face-to-face approaches. Five themes pointed to tool challenges, such as concerns around privacy and safety, and the inability of computerised tools to provide empathy and emotional support.

Conclusion: Available technology-based tools may support the identification of victims of domestic abuse by health and social care practitioners in remote services. However, it is important to be mindful of the limitations of such tools and the effects individuals’ screening preferences can have on outcomes. Future research should focus on developing tools to support the identification of victims of modern slavery, as well as empirically validating tools for screening during remote consultations.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Health Services Research & Policy
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2024

Keywords

  • domestic abuse
  • modern slavery
  • remote services
  • telemedicine
  • healthcare
  • screening

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