Current Literature Regarding Prevalence, Incidence, Impacts and Contributing Factors of Brain Injury Within a Family Violence Context

November 7, 2017

Register now for the 2017 STOP Domestic Violence Conference, held from Monday 4 – Tuesday 5 December.

Ms Penny O’Brien, Research Assistant at Monash University will be presenting “Investigating the current literature regarding prevalence, incidence, impacts and contributing factors of brain injury within a family violence context”.


To investigate the current literature regarding prevalence, incidence, impacts and contributing factors of brain injury within a family violence context.

Penny O’Brien


Three databases were searched using key words and MeSH terms. Title and abstracts were screened by two authors (PO and EP) to determine those that met the inclusion criteria. Full text screening was carried out independently by both researchers, with a third consulted if disagreements occurred until consensus was reached (DA). Data were extracted to identify context, incidence and prevalence. Thematic analysis of contributing factors was also performed.


Brain injury within the context of family violence is a well-known social challenge, however is widely under-reported. Family violence has been highlighted by the Victorian Government as a key area of concern. This project is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services Victoria in response to Recommendation 171 – Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence. This systematic review forms the first phase of a qualitative study in collaboration with Brain Injury Australia, Monash University, Domestic Violence Victoria, No To Violence incorporating Men’s Referral Service, and the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare. This will assist with addressing the increased demand on services, decreasing risk of harm for victims, and informing policies and initiatives for prevention of family violence.


Seven hundred and seven studies were initially identified. The final number for review along with the findings will be reported.


Incidence and prevalence of brain injury within the family violence context has multifactorial causation. Identification of accurate numbers of incidence is hindered by fear of reprisal, fear of safety, social stigma, shame, embarrassment or not being believed. This systematic review will give a clearer perspective of the extent of this concerning phenomena.

This year the STOP Domestic Violence Conference will embark on the theme of ‘Domestic Violence Does Not Discriminate’ with nine featured speakers and over 50 expert stream/ workshop presenters.  

Find out more here.


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