258957 An educational approach to preventing violence in Glasgow's secondary school students: The Medics Against Violence programme

Monday, October 29, 2012

Anna Gavine, BMSc (Hons), MBChB - University of Dundee , School of Medicine, University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews, United Kingdom
Damien Williams, BSc(Hons) PhD FRSPH , School of Medicine, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, Scotland
Christine Goodall, BDS, BSc, PGCert, FDS (OS) PhD , Community Oral Health, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Prof Peter D. Donnelly, MD MPH FRCP FFPH , Professor of Public Health Medicine, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, Fife, Scotland, United Kingdom
Glasgow has a longstanding problem with violence, which is a significant cause of death and disability in young people (Leyland, 2006). As the majority of young peoples' social learning takes place at school, schools are ideally placed to implement primary prevention programmes (Wolfe & Jaffe, 1999). However, schools frequently implement youth violence prevention programmes without evidence of their effectiveness (Mytton et al., 2009). Therefore, the WHO argues that systematic evaluation of such programmes is necessary to effectively reduce youth violence (Krug et al., 2002). Medics Against Violence (MAV) is a primary prevention initiative to tackle violence among Scotland's youths (Goodall et al., 2010). MAV sessions involve a graphical demonstration of the consequences of violence and discussion of alternatives to violence, delivered voluntarily to classes of secondary school students by healthcare workers. They aim to change attitudes towards violence which mediate translation of aggressive thoughts into violent behaviour (Ikeda et al., 2001). The on-going evaluation utilises a mixed-methods approach. Changes in attitudes towards violence are measured using the Attitudes Towards Violence Scale (Funk et al., 2003) immediately before and after the session, and at 3-months. Focus groups are used to explore students' views on youth violence and experiences of the session. Additionally, sessions are observed and semi-structured interviews with teachers explore perceived effects on students' behaviour. This paper focuses on the evaluation of MAV presenting preliminary results, highlighting the utility of implementing the programme in classrooms and other settings as a means to tackle the global problem of violence.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe how Medics Against Violence is being used to prevent violence in Glasgow secondary school students. 2. Explain how a mixed-methods approach can be utilised in the evaluation of Medics Against Violence. 3. Discuss the effectiveness of Medics Against Violence based on preliminary results.

Keywords: Youth Violence, Adolescent Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am currently working towards my PhD in public health, leading the evaluation of the Medics Against Violence programme. My studies are focused on the the prevention of violence in under-16s. A major compenent of my PhD is a mixed-methods evaluation of Medics Against Violence and Glasgow's Community Initiative to Reduce Violence and conducting a systematic review of community violence prevention programmes. I also teach clinical skills and ethics to undergraduate medical students.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.