Osteopathic student training on preventing domestic violence
Introduction: Domestic violence is a serious and preventable public health issue. Student Training on Preventing Domestic Violence (STOP-DV) is an extracurricular program that educates medical students on domestic violence. This study sought to determine if STOP-DV is an effective method to increase the knowledge of domestic violence among medical students.
Methods: This study utilized a quasi-experimental research approach. Participants were recruited through a convenience sample of first- and second-year medical students from an osteopathic medical school with three campuses. The intervention group included the campus where STOP-DV was implemented and was then compared to the control group (the other two campuses) without the program. Intervention and control groups were given the same pre-survey and post-survey to assess for baseline knowledge, awareness, self-efficacy and health-seeking behaviors. Bivariate and multivariate statistical analysis of matched pre-surveys and post-surveys was completed during the 2018 and 2019 school year.
Results: Medical students in the intervention group (n=100) showed a statistically significant increase in self-efficacy and in the ability to recognize domestic violence in patients (p<0.001) and to discuss domestic violence with patients (p=0.004) compared to the control group (n=47). Based upon general linear regression analysis, survey stage significantly contributed to participants self-efficacy and domestic violence knowledge in both cohorts. Additionally, intervention group significantly contributed to participants’ medical domestic violence knowledge.
Conclusions: This study was successful in implementing a domestic violence program and increasing awareness in medical students. The ultimate goal is to encourage schools to utilize a similar program to understand how domestic violence affects patients and their communities.