Dental students and intimate partner violence: Measuring knowledge and experience to institute curricular change.
Connor PD, Nouer SS, Mackey SN, Banet MS, Tipton NG. J. Dent. Educ. 2011; 75(8): 1010-1019.
Affiliation: Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, 600 Jefferson Avenue, 3 Floor, Memphis, TN 38105;.
DOI: unavailable  
PMID: 21828294
(Copyright © 2011, American Association of Dental Schools)
Our study documents the shortage of intimate partner violence (IPV) content exposure within one dental school curriculum, with an eye toward utilizing this information to revise an existing comprehensive family violence curriculum that will be fully integrated into required university coursework to improve competence and help overcome knowledge gaps. IPV is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as physical and sexual violence, threats of physical and sexual violence, or psychological/emotional abuse including coercive tactics that adults or adolescents use against current or former intimate partners. We report on the results of a four-part (background, IPV knowledge, opinions, and personal experience), sixty-seven-item validated survey instrument used to measure knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and self-reported behaviors among dental students preparing to become health care professionals working in the field. Survey responses from the nearly 80 percent of fourth-year dental students who completed the survey were examined within the context of students' actual IPV knowledge, as well as opinions and attitudes that could directly or indirectly influence patients. Our findings indicate that a sizeable number of students received no IPV training prior to or during dental school, leading to perceptions that they lack knowledge about IPV and are not well prepared to address IPV with patients. A notable percentage of students (20 percent) also reported personal experience with IPV.


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