Article Text

0124 Domestic violence and patient confidentiality: Multi-disciplinary simulation
  1. Sandra Collins1,
  2. Nicola Crowther1,
  3. Lorraine Whatley2,
  4. Michael Natarajan1
  1. 1The Great Western Hospital Academy, University of Bristol, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK
  2. 2Ferndale Campus, Oxford Brookes University, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK


Background One incident of domestic violence is reported to the police every minute.1 The healthcare professional’s confidence and ability in management is vital. Patient confidentiality with such cases can prove particularly difficult to manage when talking to partners and relatives. We designed a two-part multi-disciplinary simulation teaching session. The primary aim was to increase awareness and confidence with management of domestic violence and patient confidentiality. The secondary aim was to improve and highlight the importance of multi-disciplinary team work.

Method Between the medical and nursing student faculties we organised a series of simulation sessions. We designed a two-part simulation scenario, which was set in a simulated Emergency Department. A young girl presents with rib pain. For part one, she is reviewed by two nursing students, who then phone the two medical students for further assessment. The patient reveals that the injury was caused by domestic violence but she does not want anyone to know. For part two, the patient leaves and then her partner arrives, demanding details. The multi-disciplinary team worked together to manage the patient and talk with the relative.

Results We collected quantitative and qualitative data using free text boxes and 10-point Likert scales, from an anonymous, optional paper questionnaire, n = 29. Domestic violence: The feedback showed an improved awareness of domestic violence of 1.59/10 (p-value < 0.0019), from 7.69 to 9.28. There was an improved confidence in management of a domestic violence case of 2.97/10 (p-value <0.0001) from 4.48 to 7.45. Confidentiality: Students’ awareness of confidentiality improved by 1.22/10 (p-value 0.0139) from 8.07 to 9.29. Confidence with managing patient confidentiality improved by 2.24/10 (p-value <0.0001), from 6.62 to 8.86.

Recommendations The feedback has demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in students’ awareness and confidence. We hope to extend this session to further Academies and Trusts for both undergraduate and postgraduate students.


  1. Woman’s Aid, Statistics www.woman’

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.