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

Jodie Valpied, Kelsey L. Hegarty, Stephanie J. Brown, Lorna O'Doherty

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Previous research shows counselling delivered by trained family doctors reduces depression for women experiencing intimate partner violence. However, the potential for self-efficacy, doctor support and safety enquiry to mediate these effects has not been examined.

To assess whether a) women experiencing intimate partner violence and counselled by a trained family doctor report greater self-efficacy, perceived doctor support and enquiry about safety than those receiving usual care; and b) self-efficacy, doctor support and enquiry mediate effects of counselling on depression for these women.

Quantitative analysis as part of a process evaluation of data from a cluster randomised controlled trial of 272 female intimate partner violence survivors attending 52 Australian primary care clinics. Intervention group doctors were trained to deliver brief counselling. Comparison group doctors received standard intimate partner violence information. Intervention patients were invited to receive counselling from their trained doctor. Comparison patients received usual care. Data were collected at baseline, six, and twelve months. Path analysis tested mediation effects from trial arm to depression via self-efficacy, doctor support and safety enquiry at six and twelve months, controlling for baseline and abuse level.

At six months, mean perceived doctor support was higher for intervention than comparison patients, and mediated depression effect. At twelve months, mean self-efficacy was higher for intervention than comparison patients and mediated depression effect. Mediation effects for doctor enquiry were non-significant.

Counselling by trained family doctors can help increase support and self-efficacy of women who have experienced intimate partner violence, mediating reduced depression.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbercmz067
Pages (from-to)(In-press)
JournalFamily Practice
Early online date13 Nov 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Nov 2019



NHMRC Australia


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

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