272 Intimate Partner Violence/Abuse – Faculty and Students' Perspectives

Thursday, March 22, 2012: 2 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.
Presentation Type: Poster Session
R. SHERIDAN, and M.R. INGLEHART, c/o Inglehart, POM, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Objectives:   The purpose is to explore dental and dental hygiene faculty members’ and pre-doctoral and post-doctoral dental students’ perspectives on treating patients with intimate partner violence/abuse (IPV/A) issues. Specifically, this study investigates their knowledge, attitudes and professional behavior related to this topic.

Methods: Survey data were collected from 57 dental and 3 dental hygiene faculty members and from 216 pre-doctoral and 12 residents in dental specialty programs.

Results: Students and faculty members reported that they did not know enough about identifying and addressing signs/symptoms of IPV/A. Faculty members agreed more strongly than students that medical professionals know more about IPV/A than dental providers (on 5-point scale with 1=disagree strongly: 3.38 vs. 3.00; p=.013). Faculty members also agreed more strongly that they would like to receive more education about identifying signs/symptoms of IPV/A (4.00 vs. 3.65; p=.012) and that dental and dental hygiene students should receive more IPV/A education (4.43 vs. 3.88; p<.001). However, both groups tended to disagree that their lack of education had been a barrier to helping their patients. Faculty members agreed more strongly than students that dental professionals have a responsibility to address IPV/A with patients (4.10 vs. 3.74; p.010). Despite these positive perspectives, faculty and students both reported that they were not likely to screen new patients for IPV/A – not even when multiple injuries were present on the patient’s head, neck, or face. The majority of faculty members reported that in a case of suspected IPV/A they made notes in charts, observed the patient over time and told the patient that they were concerned for their safety.

Conclusions: Given faculty members’ positive perspective on addressing IPV/A with patients and the importance of this issue, the students’ reported lack of education about this topic is surprising. The implications for curricular reform will be discussed.

Keywords: Behavioral science, Education research, Health services research, Psychology and Teaching