Changes in health care providers' knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors regarding domestic violence, following a multifaceted intervention

Acad Med. 2001 Oct;76(10):1045-52. doi: 10.1097/00001888-200110000-00015.


Purpose: To improve domestic violence (DV) identification, management, and referral in a not-for-profit rural health network, training for health care professionals was implemented using a train-the-trainer approach, two one-hour training sessions, and dissemination of a clinical protocol. The multifaceted approach also involved modifications of emergency department medical records, distribution of office enablers, and a local public health campaign. The authors measured the effectiveness of this campaign.

Methods: After implementation of a multifaceted training and public awareness campaign, a questionnaire designed by the Centers for Disease Control to measure knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and intended behaviors (KABB) of health care providers relative to DV was administered to 380 health care professionals in the fall of 1997, with a follow-up survey completed after the intervention in the fall of 1999.

Results: The response rates for the pre- and post-intervention surveys were 67% (n = 380) and 56% (n = 273), respectively. Two scales were correlated in the base-line survey: self-efficacy (related to DV response) and familiarity with referral resources. Reporting of victim identification in the preceding year increased from 36% to 39%. Those with training were more likely to have identified a victim within the year (OR = 2.86; 95% CI, 1.73-4.74). Among the 232 respondents with complete data, multiple analysis of variance demonstrated statistically significant overall improvement across all scales. Nine of the 13 KABB scales revealed significant increases from pre- to posttest and included: screening, workplace resources, making referrals, provider self-efficacy, victim autonomy, victim understanding, legal requirements, staff preparation, and too busy/can't help.

Conclusion: A comprehensive training program for health care providers can increase their self-efficacy in responding to DV victims.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Domestic Violence*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Personnel / education*
  • Health Personnel / psychology
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • United States