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Polaris Explores Developing Outcomes Management Solution for Teen Dating Violence

Polaris Health Directions

outcomes management solution for domestic violence screening and treatment planningLanghorne, PA (June 21, 2011)- Polaris Health Directions is exploring the feasibility of building an adolescent application based on its outcomes management solution for domestic violence, Polaris-DV. Teen dating violence has become a top priority for federal agencies that are seeking to counteract the poor long-term outcomes associated with this pervasive public health problem. 

About one in four adolescents report verbal, physical, emotional or sexual abuse from a dating partner each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

In May, Dr. Linda Toche-Manley, vice president of Polaris, was invited to speak to a federal interagency task force on teen dating violence to discuss the innovative research associated with the development of Polaris-DV. Representatives from several federal agencies and departments, including the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Department of Defense, the Department of Health and Human Services and the CDC, attended the work group session. Toche-Manley focused on the effectiveness of Polaris’s predictive models to identify risk of revictimization and of the importance of addressing psychological terror, which can be a precursor to post-traumatic stress disorder. 

In one Polaris-DV development trial, models were developed to predict the risk for continued abuse. These models incorporated nine symptom and strength factors that were identified as significant in determining revictimization, such as readiness to change, attachment and relationship factors, subjective well-being and depression. Among those women identified as having experienced repeat abuse, the predictive model correctly identified 77 percent as being at risk for revictimization. Among the non-victimized women in the study, the model correctly predicted that 72 percent were not at risk for continued abuse. 

The work completed for the domestic violence project is transferable to a variety of settings and problems, and in light of the inherent risks of unaddressed teen dating violence–entry into welfare, teen pregnancy, dropout and substance abuse, among others–Polaris believes an adolescent version of Polaris-DV could help turn the tide in ensuring that teen dating violence is better reported and treated. 

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The project described was supported by Award Number 5R44HD054079 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development or the National Institutes of Health.

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