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Understanding the Needs and Preferences of Domestic and Sexual Violence Education for Health Profession Students

Semin, J.N., Skrundevskiy-Coburn, A., Smith, L.M., & Rajaram, S.S. (2020).

Violence Against Women, 26(15 – 16), 1876 – 1896.

Expanded Abstract:

This study examined health profession students’ comfort levels, perceived knowledge, attitudes, and preferences for domestic and sexual violence education at an academic medical center. Students acknowledged that their perceived knowledge of community resources was poor which may have contributed to the fact that comfort, attitudes, and perceived knowledge of the topic remained only fair. A majority of students (83.2%) reported that they had received less than three hours of training in their coursework, which remained consistent for students with more years of education. Students preferred content be incorporated into existing curricula or presented in lunch seminars.

When the experiences of health professionals were compared, nursing students had consistently higher scores in comfort, attitude, general perceived knowledge, and awareness of resources in the field. A previous study found that among a sample of nursing students, those who had received intimate partner violence training prior to nursing school had significantly higher perceived preparation and perceived knowledge of the subject when compared with those who did not receive prior training (Connor et al., 2013). Comfort levels in discussing domestic and sexual violence with patients varied among students of different disciplines, but the only statistically significant differences were among pharmacy and public health students.

Pharmacy students were the least comfortable of any discipline, whereas public health students were the most comfortable. Male students had lower general perceived domestic and sexual violence knowledge compared with female students. Students who reported more hours of training reported higher levels of comfort and perceived knowledge of the subject, resources, and reporting requirements.

(The expanded abstract is excerpted and adapted from the article cited above)