Domestic Violence: Increasing Knowledge and Improving Skills with a Four-Hour Workshop Using Standardized Patients

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Purpose.Domestic violence (DV) is common, yet physicians feel unprepared to address it. Educational interventions may improve the care provided to DV victims, yet the effectiveness of interventions is often unproven.Method.Written questions and DV-specific standardized patient (SP) checklist items from an end-of-clerkship and fourth-year comprehensive multispecialty (the Clinical Performance Examination or CPX) examinations of medical students participating in a DV workshop using SPs was compared with nonparticipants.Results.DV workshop participants’ and nonparticipants’ written question mean scores were 93.2% and 85.8%, respectively, p = .02. End-of-clerkship SP examination DV-specific checklist scores for participants and nonparticipants was 76.3% and 60.0%, respectively, p = .002. Workshop participants scored 44.1% on the CPX DV-specific checklist items versus 35.6% for the nonparticipants, p = .01.Conclusion.A DV workshop improved knowledge and skills assessed four and an average of 27 weeks later.

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