Home Volume: 3, Issue: Supplement 1
International Journal of Healthcare Simulation
A2Pilot of communication skills simulation incorporating gender-based violence

DOI:10.54531/LNZN4606, Volume: 3, Issue: Supplement 1, Pages: A2-A3
Article Type: Original Research, Article History

Table of Contents




Background and aim:

Over the last decade, there has been increasing awareness of the prevalence of gender-based violence with increasing recognition of its disproportionate impact on vulnerable adults and children [1]. When these vulnerable adults and children may present to services, healthcare professionals have an opportune position to recognize this and act as an agent to signpost these individuals to relevant services. Individuals suffering from gender-based violence prefer practitioners to ask about the possibility of violence as it is easier for them to disclose this in response to the question than to offer the information unprompted [2]. While communication skills are taught to various degrees in medical schools around the country, the authors of this project recognized that many medical schools did not address these issues in these sessions. Consequently, a communication-based skills day was developed that addressed this and offered an opportunity for training and simulation of scenarios.


These sessions aimed to improve students’ confidence in recognizing indicators of abuse and asking individuals if they were subject to forms of violence or abuse.


A half-day teaching programme was produced for final year medical students. This comprised of a talk on the indicators of gender-based violence, suggestions on how to approach enquiring about gender-based violence and simulation scenarios incorporating gender-based violence. The scenarios were designed to include indicators of violence aforementioned in the talk to enable students to practise question asking.

Pre- and post-session questionnaires were used, and students were to rate their confidence on a scale of 1–5 of how confident they felt asking these questions and recognizing indicators of violence.


Twenty-three students partook in the two sessions delivered. Pre-session data suggested that students had received minimal teaching on the indicators of violence. After completion of the sessions, there was a 57% increase in the students’ confidence in recognizing a victim of violence and a 51% increase in confidence in asking whether an individual had been subject to violence. Qualitative data suggested that students valued simulation incorporating indicators of violence and opportunity to sensitively enquire if someone had experienced violence. Overall, students felt better equipped to address future scenarios where an individual may have been subject to violence.


Our teaching session increased the confidence of final-year medical students in recognizing the indicators of violence and their ability to sensitively enquire about any violence that an individual may be subject to.

Ethics statement:

Authors confirm that all relevant ethical standards for research conduct and dissemination have been met. The submitting author confirms that relevant ethical approval was granted, if applicable.

Jones, Appadurai, and Hussain: A2Pilot of communication skills simulation incorporating gender-based violence


1. García-Moreno C, Pallitto C. Global and regional estimates of violence against women – executive summary. World Health Organisation; 2013.

2. Welsh Government. Delivery of “Ask and Act”: the role of the frontline practitioner. Welsh Government.