A cluster randomised controlled trial to assess the impact on intimate partner violence of a 10-session participatory social empowerment intervention for women in Tanzania (MAISHA CRT02): Study protocol

MAISHA CRT02 study protocol paper_final.pdf

Violence against women is a global public health problem. Worldwide, almost one third (30%) of women who have been in a relationship have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner. As well as being a human rights abuse, the negative short- and long-term impacts on women’s physical and mental health are considerable. There is an urgent need for rigorous evidence on violence prevention interventions.

Methods and analysis: The study, conducted in Mwanza city, Tanzania, comprises a cluster randomised controlled trial (RCT), a longitudinal qualitative study and integrated process evaluation. It is assessing the impact of a participatory social empowerment intervention on women’s experience of intimate partner violence (IPV). Sixty-six neighbourhood groups of women are being formed and randomly allocated to: participate in the 10-session MAISHA intervention (n=33); or, to be wait-listed for the intervention post-trial (n=33). Study participants are interviewed at baseline and 24 months post-intervention about their: household; partner; income; health; attitudes and social norms; relationship; childhood; and community.

For the qualitative study and process evaluation, focus group discussions are being conducted with study participants and MAISHA intervention facilitators, and in-depth interviews with a purposive sample of 18 participants. The primary outcomes, assessed at 24 months post-intervention, are women’s reported experience of past year physical IPV and sexual IPV. Secondary outcomes include: reported experience of past year emotional abuse, acceptability and tolerance of IPV, and reported disclosure of IPV to others. 

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