Background: The need for effective training of primary care physicians in the prevention, detection and handling of intimate partner violence (IPV) has been widely acknowledged, given its frequency in daily practice. The current intervention study aimed to measure changes in the actual IPV knowledge, perceived knowledge, perceived preparedness and detection ability of practicing general practitioners (GPs) and general practice residents, following an intensive IPV training program.
Methods: A pre/post-test design with a control group was employed to compare changes in baseline measures of IPV at the post intervention stage and at 12 months. A total of 40 participants provided full data; 25 GPs (11 in the intervention and 14 in the control) and 15 residents (intervention only). Three scales of the PREMIS survey were used to draw information on the study outcomes.
Results: The training program met high acceptance by both groups of participants and high practicality in clinical practice. The GPs in the intervention group performed better than the GPs in the control group on "Perceived preparedness" and "Perceived knowledge" in both the post-intervention (p= .012, r= .50 and p= .001, r= .68) and the 12-month follow-up (p= .024, r= .45 and p= .007, r= .54) as well as better than the residents in "Perceived preparedness" at post-intervention level (p= .037, r= .41). Residents on the other hand, performed better than the GPs in the intervention group on "Actual knowledge" at the 12-month follow-up (p= .012, r= .49). No significant improvements or between group differences were found in terms of the self-reported detection of IPV cases.
Conclusion: Further studies are needed to decide whether residency training could serve as an early intervention stage for IPV training.