Can internet-based education improve physician confidence in dealing with domestic violence?

John M. Harris, Randa M Kutob, Zita J. Surprenant, Roland D. Maiuro, Thomas A. Delate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

53 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background and Objectives: Domestic violence (DV) is a common, under-recognized source of visits to health care professionals. Even when recognized, physicians are reluctant to deal with DV, citing a lack of education and lack of confidence in addressing issues presented by DV patients. Only a small number of DV education programs have been shown to lead to improvements in professional knowledge and confidence, and these are intensive, multi-day courses. We sought to develop an on-line DV education program that could achieve improvements in physician confidence and attitudes in managing DV patients comparable to classroom-based courses. Methods: We created an interactive, case-based DV education program targeted to physicians caring for DV patients. We tested the effectiveness of this program in changing attitudes and beliefs in a randomized, controlled trial of Kansas physicians who volunteered to participate in a study of on-line continuing medical education. We measured program effectiveness with an externally developed and validated pretest/posttest instrument. Results: Sixty-five physicians completed the pretest/posttest, 28 of whom were assigned to receive the on-line DV program. We found a +17.8% mean change in confidence (self efficacy) for physicians who took the DV program versus a -.6% change for physicians who did not take the program. We also found improvements in other important areas associated with poor management of DV patients. These changes were similar or greater in magnitude to those reported by others who have used the same survey tool to evaluate an intensive, multi-hour classroom approach to DV education. User satisfaction with the online program was high. Conclusions: An interactive, case-based, on-line DV education program that teaches problem-solving skills improves physician confidence and beliefs in managing DV patients as effectively as an intensive classroom-based approach. Such programs may be of benefit to those seeking to improve their personal skills or their health care delivery system's response to DV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-292
Number of pages6
JournalFamily Medicine
Volume34
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

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Domestic Violence
Internet
Physicians
Education
Program Evaluation
Delivery of Health Care
Continuing Medical Education
Self Efficacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Harris, J. M., Kutob, R. M., Surprenant, Z. J., Maiuro, R. D., & Delate, T. A. (2002). Can internet-based education improve physician confidence in dealing with domestic violence? Family Medicine, 34(4), 287-292.

Can internet-based education improve physician confidence in dealing with domestic violence? / Harris, John M.; Kutob, Randa M; Surprenant, Zita J.; Maiuro, Roland D.; Delate, Thomas A.

In: Family Medicine, Vol. 34, No. 4, 2002, p. 287-292.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Harris, JM, Kutob, RM, Surprenant, ZJ, Maiuro, RD & Delate, TA 2002, 'Can internet-based education improve physician confidence in dealing with domestic violence?', Family Medicine, vol. 34, no. 4, pp. 287-292.
Harris, John M. ; Kutob, Randa M ; Surprenant, Zita J. ; Maiuro, Roland D. ; Delate, Thomas A. / Can internet-based education improve physician confidence in dealing with domestic violence?. In: Family Medicine. 2002 ; Vol. 34, No. 4. pp. 287-292.
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abstract = "Background and Objectives: Domestic violence (DV) is a common, under-recognized source of visits to health care professionals. Even when recognized, physicians are reluctant to deal with DV, citing a lack of education and lack of confidence in addressing issues presented by DV patients. Only a small number of DV education programs have been shown to lead to improvements in professional knowledge and confidence, and these are intensive, multi-day courses. We sought to develop an on-line DV education program that could achieve improvements in physician confidence and attitudes in managing DV patients comparable to classroom-based courses. Methods: We created an interactive, case-based DV education program targeted to physicians caring for DV patients. We tested the effectiveness of this program in changing attitudes and beliefs in a randomized, controlled trial of Kansas physicians who volunteered to participate in a study of on-line continuing medical education. We measured program effectiveness with an externally developed and validated pretest/posttest instrument. Results: Sixty-five physicians completed the pretest/posttest, 28 of whom were assigned to receive the on-line DV program. We found a +17.8{\%} mean change in confidence (self efficacy) for physicians who took the DV program versus a -.6{\%} change for physicians who did not take the program. We also found improvements in other important areas associated with poor management of DV patients. These changes were similar or greater in magnitude to those reported by others who have used the same survey tool to evaluate an intensive, multi-hour classroom approach to DV education. User satisfaction with the online program was high. Conclusions: An interactive, case-based, on-line DV education program that teaches problem-solving skills improves physician confidence and beliefs in managing DV patients as effectively as an intensive classroom-based approach. Such programs may be of benefit to those seeking to improve their personal skills or their health care delivery system's response to DV.",
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