Acceptability of a Stage-Matched Expert System Intervention for Domestic Violence Offenders

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Most interventions for men who batter are standardized and “one-size-fits-all,” neglecting individual differences in readiness to change. A multimedia expert system intervention based on the transtheoretical model (the “stage model”) was developed as an adjunct to traditional court-mandated programs. The expert system assesses stage of change, decisional balance, self-efficacy, and processes of change and provides immediate individualized stage-matched feedback designed to increase readiness to end the violence. Fifty-eight male batterer intervention program clients were invited by agency staff to complete an expert system session and an evaluation of the program; 33 men were recruited at program intake and the remainder from ongoing groups. Responses to the intervention were very positive. For example, 87% of participants reported that they found the program to be easy to use, and 98% said it could probably or definitely help them change their attitudes or behaviors. Findings provide encouraging evidence of the acceptability of this stage-matched approach to intervention for domestic violence offenders.

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