Educating university allied health students about gender-based violence: Report of a pilot study
Keywords:professional education, health professional curricula, gender-based violence, sexual harassment, students, survey
Introduction: Sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination occur across a range of healthcare settings, with frequent complaints made to health professional registration boards of Australia. Health professional education provides an ideal opportunity to ensure students understand the nature of gender-based violence (GBV) and how to prevent and address such behavior. However, there has been minimal health professional curricula that incorporates an integrated focus on gender. The aim of this study was to increase awareness and knowledge of pre-registration health students of the context of GBV and for participants to learn bystander approaches to effectively intervene to reduce violence.
Methods: A violence prevention workshop incorporating a bystander approach was developed as a key component of the curriculum for a single discipline cohort of health students. Participants completed a survey pre and post workshop, where they provided responses, on a 5-point Likert scale, to statements exploring attitudes, knowledge and behaviours in relation to behaviours that constitute GBV. Within-subject pre- and post-intervention statistical analysis was completed.
Results: The results demonstrated several significant positive changes to knowledge and attitude of the participants in relation to GBV.Conclusions: The findings of the project can inform the development of integrated gender-focused education as a core competency for preparing health professional students across a range of disciplines in clinical health and public health curricula.
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