• In addition to effective training on family violence, a supportive environment appears to be critically important to producing desirable outcomes.

Evaluation of curricula, while critical, is not sufficient to produce the desired outcomes. Having a proven curriculum will not ensure that health professionals receive the necessary training and adapt their practice behaviors. A commitment of time and resources is necessary to make attention to family violence a regular part of training and practice. Without such a supportive environment, the effects of training are likely to be short lived and may erode over time.

Recommendations

Recommendation 2: Health professional organizations—including but not limited to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the American Medical Association, the American College of Physicians, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the Council on Social Work Education, the American Psychological Association, and the American Dental Association—and health professional educators—including faculty in academic health centers— should develop and provide guidance to their members, constituents, institutions, and other stakeholders. This guidance should address (1) competency areas for health professional curricula on family violence, (2) effective strategies to teach about family violence, (3) approaches to overcoming barriers to training on family violence, and (4) approaches to promoting and sustaining behavior changes by health professionals.

In addition to federal efforts supporting research, scholarship, and curricular development, leadership and collaboration from the health sector are needed to develop effective training for health professionals on family violence. Health professional organizations are positioned to assist and influence their members who are likely to encounter victims of family violence. Efforts by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American College of Nurse Midwives provide promising examples of how health professional organizations can actively work to encourage and implement education initiatives on family violence among their members.

Recommendation 3: Health care delivery systems and training settings, particularly academic health care centers and federally qualified health clinics and community health centers, should assume greater responsibility for developing, testing, and evaluating innovative training models or programs.



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