OPEP-DV focuses on professional education and training of physiotherapy professionals working with women so that they can identify and provide assistance to victims of domestic violence (DV). The project’s goal is to develop a standalone training course and an online education module on domestic violence for current and future physiotherapists and other healthcare workers (e.g., nurses, midwives and care workers) working closely and on regular basis with female patients.

Why this Project? Our reasons…
• Health care professionals encounter numerous individuals in their practice, and given the high rates of intimate partner violence within the population, it is important that they are aware of how to identify and respond to domestic violence (DV).
• Poor adherence to treatment has been identified across many healthcare disciplines including physiotherapy (Vasey, 1990, Friedrich et al., 1998, Campbell et al., 2001).
• Research has indicated that several staff-related barriers (e.g., lack of formar training) weaken healthcare systems’ ability to identify and support victims (Alvarez et al, 2016 ).
• In addition to a lack of skills of healthcare workers, their attitudes towards and beliefs concerning DV can hinder their ability to properly serve DV victims.
• Being able to identify DV and properly address these situations would be a highly useful skill for physiotherapists to have in treating patients.

Our partnership
• Universtiy of Tartu – Estonia
• Women’s Support and Information Centre (WSIC) – Estonia
• Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies (MIGS)– Cyprus
• M&M Profuture Training, S.L – Spain
• Tartu Health Care College – Estonia

Our results will be:
• Report on physiotherapy and Domestic Violence – Studying the training, operating contexts and current attitudes of health care workers, especially physiotherapists in each partner country and propose solutions to address these gaps
• Training Program for physiotherapists and other health care professionals working with victims of violence
• Online Training Course (MOOC) for physiotherapists and other healthcare professionals who come across patients who may be victims of violence.

OPEP-DV partnership is working on solving the gap between the education of health care workers and the needs of victims of domestic violence.

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