The early development and pilot -testing of a case management intervention with victims of stalking: An evaluation study
This study evaluated the early development and pilot-testing of Project IMPACT, a case management intervention for victims of stalking. The Design and Development framework (Rothman & Thomas, 1994) was used as a guide for program development and evaluation. Nine research questions examined the processes and outcomes associated with program implementation.
The sample included all 36 clients who participated in Project IMPACT between February of 2000 and June of 2001, as well as the victim advocates who provided them with services. Quantitative and qualitative data were drawn from client case files, participant observation field notes and interview transcriptions. Quantitative data were entered into three databases where: (1) clients were the units of analysis (n = 36), (2) services were the units of analysis (n = 1146), and (3) goals were the units of analysis (n = 149). These data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, Pearson's Chi-square, Spearman's Rho, Phi, Cramer's V, Wilcoxon's Matched Pairs Signed-Ranked Test and McNemar's Test Statistic. Qualitative data were reduced via open, axial and selective coding methods. Grounded theory and case study frameworks were utilized to analyze these data.
Results showed that most clients noted an improved sense of well-being and safety, although residual symptoms of trauma remained for numerous individuals. Stalkers appeared to respond to criminal and civil justice-based interventions by reducing violent and threatening behaviors; however, covert behaviors continued. The study produced findings that provided preliminary support for the use of several intervention components including support services, psycho-education, safety planning, and boundary spanning. The psycho-education and safety planning in particular seemed to help clients cognitively reframe their perceptions of the stalking experience and gain a sense of increased safety and well-being. A 65% level of satisfactory goal achievement was observed overall, although goals involving justice-based organizations were associated with lower achievement. High service usage was related to low-income clients and those lacking in social support. Numerous inconsistencies in program implementation were found to be associated with the skills and experiences of victim advocates. Thus, recommendations were made to further refine, develop and evaluate the intervention.