A training program to improve domestic violence identification and management in primary care: preliminary results

Violence Vict. Winter 1998;13(4):395-410.


Domestic violence as encountered in day-to-day practice is greatly underidentified. It is estimated that only 3% of cases are presently being identified, and practitioners are uncertain of what to do if a case is discovered. In this paper, a training program to improve identification and management of domestic violence (DV) in primary care and the providers' responses to the program are described. A multimodal training program was undertaken to demonstrate and practice the incorporation of didactic content into practice for the health care teams. Two medical centers from a large staff-model HMO were chosen at random from five volunteering for training. The entire adult health care medical center teams, including physicians, physician assistants, RNs, LPNs, medical assistants, and receptionists, were the recipients of the training. Assessment of provider valuation of the components of the training program was performed by administering a standardized 5-point Likert-scaled questionnaire 9 months after the training. This time interval was chosen because we were interested in lasting program effects. Core didactic content, such as the epidemiology of DV, identification and management of victims and batterers, and legal issues, was highly rated. Delivery of the content through role-playing, start-stop videos and presentations by former victims received lesser but solid support. Follow-up assessment 9 months post training demonstrates solid support for many components of the program: highest for specific information content areas, but strong for techniques and processes. The training program appears to be a promising method to improve provider skills in DV management.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities
  • Curriculum
  • Educational Measurement
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Personnel / education*
  • Humans
  • Inservice Training / organization & administration*
  • Male
  • Medical History Taking
  • Models, Educational
  • Primary Health Care / methods*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Spouse Abuse / diagnosis*
  • Spouse Abuse / prevention & control*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Teaching / methods