Binghamton University researcher gets $1.2M grant to study sexual violence screening on college campuses

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From Binghamton University:

BINGHAMTON, NY – A researcher at Binghamton University’s Decker College of Nursing and Health Sciences has received a four-year, $1.2 million R01 grant to study how to effectively implement intimate partner and sexual violence screenings in college health centers across the United States.

Decker College Professor Melissa Sutherland ‘97, MS ‘01, and her colleague, Katherine Hutchinson, a professor and associate dean of research and graduate programs at the University of Rhode Island’s College of Nursing, are the recipients of the grant, which was awarded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

College women face some of the highest rates of intimate partner and sexual violence, with about one in four women experiencing some form of violence in a college setting, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The National Academy of Medicine and other national organizations recommend that healthcare providers screen and counsel all women for current and past experiences of intimate partner and sexual violence. College health centers therefore represent unique opportunities to screen college women and mitigate their risk for further violence and adverse outcomes.

“I am so excited to be able to inform and potentially improve the health of college women and campus communities,” said Sutherland, who is also the director of Decker College’s Kresge Center for Nursing Research.

Sutherland and Hutchinson, who are co-principal investigators, said to promote an increase in routine intimate partner and sexual violence screening in college health centers, it is necessary to investigate and identify factors that act as facilitators and barriers of screening.

“Screening can facilitate timely treatment for injuries, crisis intervention, counseling, safety planning and referral for services. We are hopeful that this study will provide answers and a thorough understanding of the patient characteristics and provider-, organization- and state-level factors that promote or inhibit intimate partner and sexual violence screening in college health centers,” Sutherland added.

The study, “Multi-level Influences of Violence Screening in College Health Centers,” builds upon Sutherland’s research on the consequences of interpersonal violence, as well as previous successful research collaborations between Sutherland and Hutchinson.

The project will be conducted across the United States and takes an interdisciplinary, systems science approach to improve health outcomes and advance clinical practice. Among the co-investigators lending their expertise is Bing Si, assistant professor in the Systems Science and Industrial Engineering Department at Binghamton’s Watson College of Engineering and Applied Science.

As part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the AHRQ’s mission is to produce understandable evidence making healthcare safer, higher quality and more accessible, equitable and affordable.

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