Physician Assistants' Training and Self-Perceived Competencies to Work with Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



The journal of physician assistant education : the official journal of the Physician Assistant Education Association








INTRODUCTION: The purpose of this research was to assess physician assistant (PA) education and training on the diagnosis, management, and treatment of survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV), as well as perceived current vs. desired skills in tasks related to the management and treatment of IPV. METHODS: Participants in 2 studies included a convenience sample of attendees at an annual PA conference (study 1) and PAs in the United States who were randomly selected to be administered an online survey related to their PA practice (study 2). RESULTS: In 2 studies, PAs reported low perceived competence to treat and manage patients who are survivors of IPV. More than half of the respondents (51.2%) had received training to work with survivors of IPV. Almost 3 in 5 indicated that they felt adequately prepared, and almost 3 in 10 regularly asked patients about IPV. Gaps between current and desired perceived skills to treat and manage survivors of IPV were larger among PAs who had previous training related to IPV compared with PAs with no prior training. DISCUSSION: Guidance for PA educators may improve PA education and increase competencies among new PAs. Without more substantial guidance from an accrediting body, PA programs are left responsible for implementing IPV curriculum. Professional associations as well as constituent and specialty organizations that provide continuing medical education have an equally important role in strengthening skills and abilities among PAs.


Clinical Research and Leadership