UBC Faculty Research and Publications

The Concussion Awareness Training Tool for Women’s Support Workers Improves Knowledge of Intimate Partner Violence-Caused Brain Injury Nicol, Blake; Adhikari, Shambhu Prasad; Shwed, Alanna; Ashton, Stephanie; Mriduraj, Angitha; Mason, Karen; Gainforth, Heather L.; Babul, Shelina; van Donkelaar, Paul


Women who experience physical intimate partner violence (IPV) are at high risk of suffering a brain injury (BI) due to head impacts and/or strangulation. Currently, most staff at women’s shelters tend not to be aware of IPV-caused BIs. The objective of this study was to address this by developing a new online module within the Concussion Awareness Training Tool (cattonline.com) specifically focused on IPV-caused BI, and measuring its effectiveness in increasing BI awareness and knowledge among staff members at women’s shelters. A mixed-methods approach was used which included (i) a survey to measure participant knowledge before and after completing the module; (ii) a 1-on-1 interview 6 months post-training to better understand participants’ perceptions of what effect the training had on how they worked with women in their job; and (iii) an evaluation of the content of the module using behavior change techniques. About 81 participants recruited from staff at women’s shelters completed the pre/post survey. The average BI knowledge score increased significantly from the pre-survey (M = 8.12/12, SD = 1.05) to the post-survey (M = 9.72/12, SD = 1.62), t(80) = 9.12, P < .001, d = 1.01). Analysis of the interviews with 9 participants highlighted 3 main themes arising from the module: knowledge, mindfulness, and advocacy. All participants felt their knowledge of IPV-caused BIs had increased and said they would recommend the training to their co-workers. Analysis of the module content revealed the most frequent behavior change techniques were related to instructions on how to perform screening and accommodation for IPV-caused BI. The results showed the module was effective in increasing knowledge of IPV-caused BIs amongst women’s shelter staff as well as improving how they advocate for, and are mindful of, their clients with BIs. This online training may help improve the care women with IPV-caused BIs receive, and ultimately improve their quality of life.

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Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International