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Confronting Chronic Neglect: The Education and Training of Health Professionals on Family Violence
mate partner violence victims was stronger in the departments that participated in the training. Thompson et al. (2000), however, found no differences between intervention and comparison primary teams with regard to ratings of the quality of management as determined by record review. Saunders and Kindy (1993) also found no improvement among internal medicine and family practice residents in terms of history taking and planning.
In general, it may be that the materials provided do assist, particularly in terms of referrals. The reasons underlying the lack of differences in other variables may be several. These include site variation in implementing the necessary supports for system change, other events that may have contributed to increases in appropriate practices and weakened the difference between the training and comparison groups (Campbell et al., 2001), and problems resulting in accurately measuring certain outcomes such as quality of care (Thompson et al., 2000).
Training on Elder Abuse
As previously noted, the training of health professionals to identify elder abuse and neglect and intervene appropriately has received little attention in the literature. Descriptions of formal curricula and training models are few in number. Thus, it is not surprising that formal published evaluations of training efforts are also lacking.
The committee’s literature search uncovered only four studies that explicitly provided any evaluative information on the outcomes of such training. These efforts were quite heterogeneous in terms of the recipients of training, the training provided, and the way in which outcomes were examined. Both Jogerst and Ely (1997) and Uva and Guttman (1996) reported data on the outcomes of resident training in elder abuse screening and management. Each study focused on a different specialty and training strategy. Whereas a home visit program to improve the skills of geriatric residents for carrying out elder abuse evaluations was the focus of Jogerst and Ely’s work, Uva and Guttman provided data associated with a 50-minute didactic session for emergency medicine residents. Training for diverse groups of professionals was described and assessed by Vinton (1993) in her study of half-day training sessions of caseworkers, and Anetzberger et al. (2000) reported on the use of a 2.5-day training program that involved a formal curriculum—A Model Intervention for Elder Abuse and Dementia—that was delivered to adult protective services workers and Alzheimer’s Association staff and volunteers.
Although all authors interpreted their findings as highlighting the benefits of training in terms of improved knowledge, level of comfort in handling elder abuse and neglect, and other outcomes (e.g., self-perceived competence), none of the four studies provided clear evidence regarding training effectiveness. For example, Vinton (1993) and Anetzberger et al. (2000) restricted their assessment to only pretest and posttest measurement of training participants immediately