Structured practice opportunities with a mnemonic affect medical student interviewing skills for intimate partner violence

Teach Learn Med. Winter 2006;18(1):62-8. doi: 10.1207/s15328015tlm1801_13.


Background: Low rates of partner violence inquiry and detection are reported in the medical setting.

Purpose: To determine if a teaching module with a mnemonic improves interviewing skills.

Method: Prospective randomized trial. A total of 43 medical students were assigned to either the intervention group (teaching module with guided discussion and practice highlighting use of a mnemonic) or the control group (general discussion and provision of the mnemonic at the end of the session). These students subsequently interviewed simulated patients.

Results: A total of 75% of the intervention group and 62% of the control group reported the mnemonic was helpful. A total of 68% of the intervention group and 45% of the control group asked a direct question about partner violence. Students who obtained a history of abuse consistently asked direct, nonjudgmental question(s).

Conclusions: Students learn to perform desired interviewing skills more frequently when they have the benefit of guided discussion, practice, and memory aids.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abbreviations as Topic*
  • Communication
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic / methods*
  • Medical History Taking / methods*
  • Mental Recall*
  • Patient Simulation
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Prospective Studies
  • Spouse Abuse / diagnosis*
  • Spouse Abuse / psychology
  • Students, Medical*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Teaching / methods*