Letters to the Editor
I read with great interest Kirk and Bezzant's (2020) article drawing attention to the numerous barriers that prevent health professionals from screening women for domestic violence and abuse (DVA). Insufficient training and education were the most frequent barriers, with health professionals describing a lack of confidence in having vitally important discussions about DVA with patients. As a final-year medical student at University College London, I feel strongly about the importance of building confidence in knowledge of DVA at the undergraduate level, including how to have sensitive and effective consultations with patients.
Research has found that nursing students receive inadequate training and education about DVA during their undergraduate studies (Alshammari et al, 2018). The unfortunate result of this is that they feel unprepared and unable to respond appropriately in practice where they suspect DVA. A recent study looking at DVA teaching within UK medical schools also found that students were receiving limited teaching, often in the form of a single small group session or lecture (Potter and Feder, 2018).
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