BACKGROUND: Physicians are generally poorly trained to recognize, treat or refer adolescents at risk for intimate partner violence (IPV). Participation in community programs may improve medical students' knowledge, skills, and attitudes about IPV prevention. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether the experience of serving as educators in a community-based adolescent IPV prevention program improves medical students' knowledge, skills, and attitudes toward victims of IPV, beyond that of didactic training. PARTICIPANTS: One hundred and seventeen students attending 4 medical schools. DESIGN: Students were randomly assigned to didactic training in adolescent IPV prevention with or without participation as educators in a community-based adolescent IPV prevention program. Students assigned to didactic training alone served as community educators after the study was completed. MEASUREMENT: Knowledge, self-assessment of skills and attitudes about intimate partner violence and future plans to pursue outreach work. RESULTS: The baseline mean knowledge score of 10.25 improved to 21.64 after didactic training (p≤.001). Medical students in the "didactic plus outreach" group demonstrated higher levels of confidence in their ability to address issues of intimate partner violence, (mean=41.91) than did students in the "didactic only" group (mean=38.94) after controlling for initial levels of confidence (p≤.002). Experience as educators in a community-based program to prevent adolescent IPV improved medical students' confidence and attitudes in recognizing and taking action in situations of adolescent IPV, whereas participation in didactic training alone significantly improved students' knowledge.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Acknowledgments: This study was funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health. We would like to thank the following individuals for their valuable contribution to this project: Jill Bassett, MS, Executive Office of Health and Human Services, Commonwealth of Massachusetts (at the time of this study Ms. Bassett was with the Harvard Medical School Center of Excellence in Women’s Health); Rachna Chaudhari, MPH, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine; Jill A. Foster, MD, The Pediatric and Adolescent HIV/AIDS Program at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Drexel University College of Medicine; Elissa Goldberg, MSS, LSW, Community Experience, Drexel University College of Medicine; Erika Graves, Iris Cantor-UCLA Women’s Health Center, Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research, University of California, Los Angeles, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA; Tiffany Pierce, Women’s Health Education Program, Drexel University College of Medicine; Celeste S. Prothro, MPH, Division of General Internal Medicine, University of California, San Francisco; Jonelle C. Rowe, MD, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health; Gladys Ruiz, Iris Cantor-UCLA Women’s Health Center, Division of General Internal Medicine and Health Services Research, University of California, Los Angeles, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA; Lisa M. Schilling, MD, University of Colorado at Denver Health Sciences Center; Lori Vollandt, Ed.D, Los Angeles Unified School District; and Esther Yasui.
Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
- Community-based intervention
- Intimate partner violence
- Medical students