Self-efficacy and doctor support as mediators of depression outcomes following counselling by family doctors for intimate partner violence

Jodie Valpied, Kelsey Hegarty, Stephanie Brown, Lorna O'Doherty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Previous research shows counselling delivered by trained family doctors reduces depression for women experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV). However, the potential for self-efficacy, doctor support and safety enquiry to mediate these effects has not been examined. Objectives: To assess whether (i) women experiencing IPV and counselled by a trained family doctor report greater self-efficacy, perceived doctor support and enquiry about safety than those receiving usual care and (ii) whether self-efficacy, doctor support and enquiry mediate effects of counselling on depression for these women. Methods: Quantitative analysis as part of a process evaluation of data from a cluster randomized controlled trial of 272 female IPV survivors attending 52 Australian primary care clinics. Intervention group doctors were trained to deliver brief counselling. Comparison group doctors received standard IPV information. Intervention patients were invited to receive counselling from their trained doctor. Comparison patients received usual care. Data were collected at baseline, 6 and 12 months. Path analysis tested mediation effects from trial arm to depression via self-efficacy, doctor support and safety enquiry at 6 and 12 months, controlling for baseline and abuse level. Results: At 6 months, mean perceived doctor support was higher for intervention than comparison patients and mediated depression effect. At 12 months, mean self-efficacy was higher for intervention than comparison patients and mediated depression effect. Mediation effects for doctor enquiry were non-significant. Conclusions: Counselling by trained family doctors can help increase support and self-efficacy of women who have experienced IPV, mediating reduced depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-262
Number of pages8
JournalFamily Practice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Counselling
  • Depression
  • General practice
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Primary health care
  • Self-efficacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice

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