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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887


ROJAS, Pamela; RAIN, Carolina; CUADRA, Victoria  and  CASTANON, Carla. Teaching medical students about domestic violence and sexual abuse: teachers’ perception of barriers and facilitators. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2018, vol.146, n.8, pp.927-932. ISSN 0034-9887.


Considering the frequency of sexual abuse and domestic violence (SA-DV) in the population, the likelihood of a medical student meeting patients with this problem is substantial. However, most students do not consider SA-DV in their differential diagnoses. Since 2014, this team has been working in strengthening undergraduate curriculum in SA-DV. It has been a challenging and slow process.


To identify barriers and facilitators perceived by the undergraduate teaching team in order to suggest modifications in the curriculum in relation to the competencies required for screening and early intervention for victims of SA-DV. The conclusions obtained may be useful for other medical schools and universities facing this challenge.


Qualitative study using grounded theory method for the analysis of interviews and focus groups.


SA-DV are perceived as a problem that is pertinent for physicians. However, there is a common belief that teaching about SA-DV should be limited to only certain specific specialties. The main barriers are the limited curricular time, the need to prioritize contents and the lack of specific training of the teachers. A key facilitator is the fact that gender violence is on the public agenda today.


The identified barriers coincide with those reported in the literature; limited curricular time and prioritization of contents. Although this study does not show the perception of SA-DV as ‘not a medical issue’ nor as a subject that pertains to other health professionals, there is the perception that teaching clinical approach to SA-DV only pertains to specialists who are directly involved in this topic.

Keywords : Domestic Violence; Sex Offenses; Teaching.

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