A community-based trial of an online intimate partner violence CME program

Am J Prev Med. 2006 Feb;30(2):181-5. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2005.10.012.


Background: There is a broad need to improve physician continuing medical education (CME) in the management of intimate partner violence (IPV). However, there are only a few examples of successful IPV CME programs, and none of these are suitable for widespread distribution.

Design: Randomized controlled trial beginning in September 2003 and ending in November 2004. Data were analyzed in 2005.

Setting/participants: Fifty-two primary care physicians in small (fewer than eight physicians), community-based medical offices in Arizona and Missouri.

Intervention: Twenty-three physicians completed a minimum of 4 hours of an asynchronous, multi-media, interactive, case-based, online CME program that provided them flexibility in constructing their educational experience ("constructivism"). Control physicians received no CME.

Main outcome measures: Scores on a standardized self-reported survey, composed of ten scales of IPV knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and self-reported behaviors (KABB) administered before randomization and repeated at 6 and 12 months following the CME program.

Results: Use of the online CME program was associated with a significant improvement in eight of ten KABB outcomes, including physician self-efficacy and reported IPV management practices, over the study period. These measures did not improve in the control group.

Conclusions: The Internet-based CME program was clearly effective in improving long-term individual educational outcomes, including self-reported IPV practices. This type of CME may be an effective and less costly alternative to live IPV training sessions and workshops.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Community Health Centers
  • Computer-Assisted Instruction*
  • Education, Medical, Continuing / methods*
  • Family Practice / education
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Physicians, Family / education*
  • Professional Practice Location
  • Spouse Abuse*