Findings from a collaborative approach: Implementation of domestic and family violence training for the community and oral health workforce

Dr Christine Saxby1, Ms Louise  Lynch1, Ms Madeline  Mitchell1, Ms Juliann Whitmore1

1Community and Oral Health Directorate, Metro North Hospital and Health Service, Brighton, Australia

The health care system is frequently a first point of contact for individuals experiencing domestic and family violence (DFV). DFV has significant health implications for those affected. The 2015 report “Not now, not ever: Putting an end to Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland”, identified the need for education of health workers to ensure competent responses to DFV. The DFV state-wide guideline requires all allied health workers to complete DFV training. This presentation describes the collaborative implementation approach the Community and Oral Health Directorate (COH) adopted to educate its diverse workforce and the findings from participant evaluations.

Face-to-face workshops, “Clinical responses to domestic and family violence”, were delivered to 110 health professionals, predominantly allied health, comprising 12 professional groups. The interactive workshops formed part of a blended education program developed in partnership with the RBWH Social Work Train-the-trainers, the COH Education Team, the Ngarrama Family Service Social Worker, and the COH Social Work Team. The training followed interprofessional education principles through inclusion of scenario-based, problem-solving small group activities. The workshops were embedded within a comprehensive organisational framework that facilitated mixed modes of delivery to support the diverse and geographically dispersed workforce.

Workshops were evaluated using a standardised pre-post survey that sought participant’s feedback on their learning experiences and perceived education outcomes. The findings demonstrated significant increases in reported post-training levels of practice knowledge and confidence. Prior to attending training, 27.2% of participant responses indicated a low level of knowledge and confidence in identifying risk factors for DFV, responding to disclosure and offering an appropriate intervention. Post-training, 100% of participant responses were in the medium to high range for these measures. The findings will be presented, along with discussion of implications for future delivery.


Christine is an Allied Health Educator within the Community and Oral Health Education Team. Prior to this role, Christine worked as a senior social worker across several practice domains. In 2016, Christine completed a PhD at the University of Queensland. Her area of research was clinical supervision effectiveness, burnout and intent to leave in allied health staff. Christine has several supervision publications and has been an invited journal and book reviewer. Christine has an adjunct lecturer title with the University of Queensland, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work. Christine’s current interest is in improving health outcomes through the provision of inter-professional education for health care workers.

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