New adapted domestic violence training for primary care


General practitioners had previously reported a lack of access to existing resources, a problem that the national training program will aim to address.

Lack of access to existing training resources has been cited as a barrier for GPs when trying to tackle domestic and family violence.

The program stems from a recent Systematic review conducted by the University of Melbourne Center of Excellence in Research for Safer Families, which examined how best to prepare health practitioners to address domestic and family violence (VDV) and the factors that are important to focus on in training content.

He found that one of the barriers GPs have already faced when trying to tackle VDF is lack of access to existing training resources.

To help fill this gap, the Safer Families Center developed Preparedness program – Preparing primary care to deal with domestic and family violence, which aims to provide an integrated and sustainable approach to tackling VDF.

“Our model uses a supportive approach to overcome all obstacles, providing examples of how to ask and respond, work as a team and bond with local services, which is more likely to lead to success. “Professor Kelsey Hegarty, director of the Safer Families Center and chair of the Family Violence Prevention Unit at the University of Melbourne, said gp news.

The federally-funded national program provides training to primary health care staff to combat VDD, in partnership with the RACGP, the Blue Knot Foundation and Phoenix Australia.

Incorporating a range of platforms to meet different learning needs, the program aims to build capacity to recognize, respond, refer and record disclosures of VDF more effectively using a trauma and violence-informed approach.

According to Professor Hegarty, using these approaches will ensure pathways to safety and well-being to improve the safety, health and functioning of the family, as training is an important part of developing skills in this area. for general practitioners.

“At least one in 10 women attending a GP practice will have had a VDF, so a full-time GP can see up to five surviving women per week, not all of whom may be identified by GPs,” he said. she declared.

“We understand how short of time primary care staff are; however, the evidence shows that primary care has a crucial role to play in the fight against VDD. ‘

The program includes a range of learning options for general practitioners, nurses and other practice staff, and provides evidence-based training on how to tailor responses to children, youth, women and men in families where violence occurs, including:

  • a series of RACGP webinars on topics based on the White Book
  • E-learning modules on a range of subjects related to DFV
  • training workshops, including advanced skills in trauma-informed care and family violence and the online life course
  • the opportunity to engage in an online GP-led community of practice with other program participants
  • Pathways to Safety – Practice-focused virtual learning with advanced skills and a holistic approach to practice, starting in Tasmania in September.

Professor Hegarty said the Pathways to Safety learning component aims to streamline pathways and strengthen a team approach to recognition and referral to SVD.

“Pathways to Safety specifically aims to be a practical clinical program that improves identification, safety assessment, referrals and support for people with or at risk for VDD, including children and those using VDD.” , she said.

Based on awareness As certain types of activities are more likely to result in long-term behavior change for primary care staff than other strategies, the preparedness program places particular emphasis on the learning component focused on whole practice.

By the end of the training, primary care staff should be able to respectfully engage with patients with VDF, review and implement changes to improve response, and reflect on their own attitudes. that could facilitate or prevent effective engagement.

Professor Hegarty also said this should allow clinical staff to:

  • recognize individuals and families with symptoms and signs of VDD
  • risk assessment for the safety of women and children
  • respond to disclosures using World Health Organization – Recommended responses
  • refer appropriately and record and share information securely and effectively.

The Readiness Program is also involved in the redevelopment of the RACGP White Paper, of which Professor Hegarty is clinical editor. The next edition of the White Paper should be released at the end of 2021.

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