Doctoral Theses as a Source of Knowledge Production for IPV Prevention: A Literature Review of Doctoral Theses at a Swedish University

Okenwa-Emegwa Leah1, 2, *
1 Department of Medicine and Public Health, The Swedish Red Cross University College, Stockholm, Sweden
2 Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Faculty of Health and Occupational Sciences, University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden

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Creative Commons License
© 2019 Okenwa-Emegwa Leah

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the The Swedish Red Cross University College, P.O. 1059, SE-141 21 Huddinge, Sweden; Tel: +46(0)8-587 516 79; E-mail:



Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is a pervasive form of Violence Against Women (VAW). IPV has been acknowledged as a human rights violation and a public health problem. Years of research and advocacy have led to a better understanding of the problem including the development of the ecological model for explaining IPV. Although diverse international policies and global advances in women’s rights have contributed to addressing IPV, the problem still persists. IPV is associated with adverse health outcomes, therefore, its prevention is an important aspect of population health promotion.


Considering that doctoral research and theses form an integral aspect of knowledge production, the present study aims to provide a review of doctoral theses on IPV at a Swedish university in order to identify areas of unmet need for future IPV prevention studies.


A search was conducted to identify IPV related thesis stored in the Karolinska Institutet (KI), which is a database where all publications produced at KI are stored. A total of thirteen PhD theses (the earliest published in 2004 and the latest in 2017) met the inclusion criteria and were reviewed.


Through their wide range of contexts and contents, these theses provide a global insight into IPV. Findings show that prevalence estimates and risk factors at the individual and relationship levels are well researched. Potential areas of unmet needs include the under-researched nature of risk factors and interventions at the community and societal level as well as underlying issues preventing the healthcare sector from actively playing its role in addressing IPV.


Capacity building for the health sector and addressing community and societal level risk factors of IPV are modifiable factors to address IPV and improve population health.

Keywords: Intimate partner violence, Prevention, Health promotion, Gender inequality, Attitudes, Disclosure.