Computer Based Health Professional Training

Working Group

Jane Koziol-McLain, PhD, RN, Associate Professor AUT University (Project Leader)

Lynne Giddings, PhD, RGON, RM, Associate Professor AUT University

Helen Curreen,  MA, Senior Lecturer AUT University

Maria Rameka, BSc, RGON, Principal Lecturer, AUT University

Denise Wilson, MA, RGON, Senior Lecturer, Massey University Wellington

General description of project

In 2001 a Computer-Based Training (CBT) course for emergency nurses  in United States of America was developed on screening for intimate  partner violence. CBT is an excellent method of education, especially  for learning a way of thinking. An analytic way of thinking is  necessary for healthcare workers to successfully intervene in the area  of intimate partner violence.


The overall goal of this innovative educational technology project  was to provide an effective teaching resource that enable healthcare  workers in Aotearoa New Zealand to screen and intervene in the case of  intimate partner violence in order to prevent injuries, illness and  death. The new product directly addresses the knowledge and skills that  are essential for healthcare workers in Aotearoa New Zealand to fulfil  their role as partner violence victim advocates in a safe and  confidential manner.

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The original product, available at,  was developed specific to the United States setting. Eighty-five  percent of current users would "definitely" recommend the programme to  others. We adapted that product to the Aotearoa New Zealand context.  Americo-centric information was removed and necessary adaptations  included for example:

  • Family violence research conducted in New Zealand  
  • Government priorities for family violence in New Zealand  
  • Nursing Council priorities for family violence in New Zealand  
  • Legal information about the New Zealand Domestic Violence Act  
  • What can be expected from police in New Zealand  
  • Maori women, children and whanau abuse experience and cultural safety  
  • Cultural experiences of abused New Zealand Pakeha, Pacifika, Asian and refugee women and children.  
  • Support systems that are in place in New Zealand for emergency nurses and abused women.

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Project Justification

The needs of women who are abused by their partners are multiple and  complex, including economic, legal, psychological and physical health  needs. This complexity includes effects of violence exposure on  children and whanau. Yet few health care providers have been adequately  trained to identify abused women. More often than not telltale signs  and symptoms go unperceived or dismissed and a woman is obliged to  return to an unsafe home. This occurs not only because of misdiagnosed  symptoms, but also because intimate partner violence is still largely  viewed as a personal matter.

Society in general, as well as health care providers, largely regard  intimate partner violence from a wholly subjective perspective and, if  not properly trained, may even blame the women for her misfortune  instead of realizing the complexity of her situation and offering help.  Without education, healthcare workers are likely to provide medical  treatment without ever recognizing the underlying dynamics of family  violence. Working against effective training is the stress and time  constraints induced by the fast paced healthcare environment and  limited resources. To simplify the complexities of training healthcare  workers, the electronic medium may be a cost efficient and effective  means of providing intimate partner violence education.

This project, possible by an educational technology grant from the  Auckland University of Technology was completed in 2004. The  training  programme is available on

Programme for emergency nurses on screening and intervening in the case of intimate partner violence:

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