Background: Intimate partner (domestic) violence (IPV) is a common problem in medical practice that is associated with adverse health outcomes. There are widespread calls to improve IPV education for physicians, but there are few valid, reliable, easily available, and comprehensive measures of physician IPV knowledge, attitudes, and practices that can be used to assess training effectiveness.
Methods: In 2002, expert consensus and previous surveys were used to develop a new survey-based IPV self-assessment tool that included more information on current IPV knowledge and practices than previous tools. The draft tool was evaluated using standard psychometric techniques in a group of 166 physicians in 2002, revised, and then retested in a second group of 67 physicians on three occasions in 2003 and 2004. Analyses were conducted in 2005.
Results: The draft IPV survey tool demonstrated good internal consistency reliability, with Cronbach's alpha >/=0.65 for ten final scales. The developed scales were closely correlated with theoretical constructs and predictive of self-reported behaviors. On repeat testing, a revised version of the tool was found to have good stability of psychometric properties in a different physician population (Cronbach's alpha>/=0.65, and internal correlations as predicted), good correlation with measured office IPV practices, and stable results in this population over 12 months.
Conclusions: The final version of this instrument, named the PREMIS (Physician Readiness to Manage Intimate Partner Violence Survey) tool, is a 15-minute survey that is a comprehensive and reliable measure of physician preparedness to manage IPV patients. This tool is publicly available and can be used to measure the effectiveness of IPV educational programs.