Purpose:Considering the clinical and public health implications of family violence, the present paper will provide a conceptual overview on family violence, discuss the role of chiropractors in the detection of family violence, and present some emerging educational models for developing the key competencies to recognize these problems and move to action, with an emphasis on multidisciplinary collaboration in the biopsychosocial treatment of these multifaceted problems. This is particularly relevant given that the American Chiropractic Association supports legislation mandating the reporting of family violence.
Methodology:A review of the empirical literature on family violence was conducted between the years 1995-2005 using PsycINFO and MEDLINE, supplemented by selected government reports, professional guidelines and other policy papers with a focus on issues relevant to epidemiology, training, and interdisciplinary collaboration.
Discussion:Since family violence tends to escalate over time if there is no intervention, early detection is key. In spite of this fact, family violence has received very little attention in the chiropractic literature. Extrapolating from the broader research, several models of medical education have been proposed to address the critical need for assessment and early intervention that may inform chiropractic curriculum development around family violence. As chiropractors become more mainstream portal of entry providers and continue to strive to provide more primary care, there is a clear need to translate the didactics of family violence into the clinical setting to provide students the opportunity for mastering the basic competencies for managing these challenging problems and for inculcating skills commensurate with those of other primary care providers. Given the paucity of existing data on chiropractors knowledge and practices, more research is needed to provide a firm foundation to advance training and practice relevant to family violence and to evaluate their impact.
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