Domestic Violence Teaching in UK Medical Schools: a Cross-Sectional Study

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Introduction Domestic violence and abuse (DVA) is a leading contributor to physical and mental ill-health of women. Recent International guidance recommends that undergraduate medical curricula should include DVA. We do not know what is currently taught about DVA to medical students in the United Kingdom.
Method Teaching leads from all UK medical schools (n=34) were invited to participate in an 18-item online survey about what DVA education is provided, their views of this provision and any feedback provided by students. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse the data.
Results A total of 25 out of 34 medical schools participated in the survey (74%). All respondents felt there should be formal teaching on DVA in the medical curriculum. Eighty-four per cent of respondents reported that there was some formal teaching in their medical school, 90 per cent of these reported that it was mandatory. Of those who delivered some teaching, 52 per cent reported that provision was 0-2 hours in total. Most commonly content was delivered in year 4. DVA teaching was delivered in different modules, by different methods and delivered by a range of different providers. Seventy-five per cent of respondents reported that they felt provision at their medical school was inadequate or not enough. Barriers to providing DVA education identified included time constraints, failure to perceive it as a medical problem and the assumption that it will be covered elsewhere.
Conclusion Most medical students in the UK receive a small amount of teaching on DVA towards the end of the curriculum. This is perceived as inadequate.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Teacher
Early online date6 Oct 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Oct 2017


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