“On-the-Go” Training: Downloadable Modules to Educate Students in Care for Sexual Assault Survivors

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Abstract

PURPOSE:

An innovative approach to train students to provide trauma-informed care for survivors of sexual assault (SA) through independent learning.

BACKGROUND:

All medical providers encounter patients who have experienced SA, and can have significant impact on survivors; long-term health. Training medical students to provide appropriate, trauma-informed care is lacking in most medical school sexual health curricula. Appealing to the millennial learner, we developed three downloadable video/podcast-style modules for on-the-go use.

METHODS:

We worked with interdisciplinary experts in trauma-informed care to develop modules on interviewing patients with recent and distant history of SA and acute medical management. The study group was a cohort of interested medical students. Students completed pre- and post-tests assessing knowledge, and a paired t-test evaluated overall change in knowledge test scores. Students responded to a Likert-style question on self-reported comfort caring for this population, and responses were analyzed with a chi-square test.

RESULTS:

Thirty-two medical students spanning all years beta-tested the modules and 97% completed the study. Overall, student knowledge scores improved 20% (95% CI=16%-23%, P<.0001). After completing the curriculum, students reported a significantly improved comfort level (P=.0250). Students enjoyed the learning format and reported the modules enhanced their education (72-88%) and were appropriate for their education level (69-97%).

DISCUSSION:

Following completion of modules, students demonstrated improved knowledge and reported increased confidence in caring for this patient population. These modules seek to empower students to step beyond screening in their care for patients with sexual trauma history. Future directions include publication of existing modules and expansion of the module library.

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