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.