The prevalence of intimate partner violence in the family: a systematic review of the implications for adolescents in Africa
Roman, Nicolette V.
Frantz, Jose M.
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Background. Intimate partner violence (IPV) and its multiple effects are well documented in Western research, but these are not adequately described in Africa. The effects of IPV on adolescent health and well-being are not conclusive. Objective. The aim of this review was to systematically appraise prevalence studies conducted on the African continent to establish the prevalence of IPV and the implications of exposure on adolescents in Africa. Methods. A comprehensive search was conducted in May 2012 for the previous 10 years, using databases such as Ebscohost (Medline, CINAHL, PsyArticles), Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), Project Muse and BioMed Central and also specific journals Lancet, and JSTOR. Two reviewers independently evaluated the methodological quality of the studies reviewed. Results. Seven eligible epidemiological studies were included in this review. Five of the studies were conducted in South Africa, one in Liberia, and another was a multi-country study that included Egypt, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda and Zambia. The prevalence of IPV in African countries ranged from approximately 26.5% to 48%. All studies reported exposure to family violence during childhood. Conclusion. The findings support the global burden of IPV. There is also a need for standardized tools to determine IPV in Africa and a clear definition that can be used in research to allow comparison with future IPV studies. In addition, the studies point to a need for interventions focusing on adolescents exposed to family violence.