The first goal of this study was to understand what predicted or hindered sexual assault forensic examiner (SAFE) training completion for students. The second goal was to determine if the training had an effect on the students' knowledge. The third goal sought to understand if the student retained their knowledge and applied the core concepts of the SAFE training with their post-training patients.
The researchers divided the project into 3 studies.
Study 1 examined how many students completed the training and what predicted training completion.
Study 2a utilized a one-group pre-test post-test design where researchers assessed students' knowledge attainment for 12 online modules.
Study 2b utilized a qualitative framework to understand the instructors' pedagogical approach to teaching clinical skills. In addition, researchers conducted qualitative interviews to examine the students' perceptions of the patient care and medical forensic exam skills gained from the clinical component in the sexual assault forensic examiner (SAFE) training, and how the clinical training contributed to their skill development.
Study 3a explored knowledge retention using an online post-training survey given to students three months following the training.
Study 3b utilized the same qualitative framework as Study 2b.
Only data for studies 1, 2a, and 3a are available with this collection.
For Study 1, one month prior to the training, the students received an email to inform them that they would be receiving an email that would link them to the online training. Three weeks prior to the commencement of the online training, all of the students were emailed a link to an online survey. All of the participants completed the survey prior to beginning the training. The data was downloaded and imported into SPSS.
For Study 2a, the training entailed two main components: twelve online
training modules and a two-day in-person clinical workshop. Before the training began, participants
completed a pre-test for the first module. After receiving instruction on how to
navigate through the online learning management system, the participants completed the first module. After the participants completed the
introduction module, an online post-test was given to all participants to assess knowledge gain on the
A similar pattern of completing a pre-test, participating in the online training module and then
completing a post-test existed for the other eleven training modules. Students were asked to complete a
weekly online pre-test before completing each training module. Upon completion of each of these
modules, the pre-test exams were re-administered to participants online as a post-test. The pre-tests/post-tests
for each module varied in length. Participants were required to complete the modules in a sequential order. Once participants began
a training module, they were not able to continue on to the next module until the module and its associated
post-test were completed.
Most of the questions had one correct answer and were scored as correct or incorrect. Some of the
questions had multiple correct answers in which students were instructed to check all of the correct
answers. For this type of question, each answer was considered a test item.
The pre-tests and post-tests were taken by students in the learning management system. Data was
retrieved from the system by downloading each student's scores for the pre-test and post-test of each
module, and entering them into SPSS.
For Study 3a, three months after the training, the students were emailed a link to an online survey. The data were downloaded and imported into SPSS.
The target audience for this training was registered nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and physicians. The training candidates had to complete an application to be considered for the training. The application requested background information to aid the selection process including a) professional background; b) whether they had taken a sexual assault forensic examiner (SAFE) training; c) their intent to practice post-training and program/community background information; d) if they had reliable access to the Internet; and e) if they could/would commit to the two-day clinical training and training evaluation. The application was accessible on the International Association of Forensic Nurses (IAFN) web site from July 5, 2011 to September 1, 2011.
There were 626 clinicians who applied for the training. Applicants were eligible for the training if they a) had not completed a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE)/SAFE training; b) were not certified as SANEs/SAFEs through state entities; c) intended to join or start a SANE/SAFE program in their community; d) were willing to participate in the evaluation and two-day clinical training; e) practiced in the United States; and f) had reliable access to the Internet. Clinicians working in rural areas and tribal lands were considered a higher priority because one of the aims of this project was to increase accessibility to high-quality didactic and clinical training for this population.
A two-stage process was utilized to select the training participants. First, applicants were eliminated automatically if they had completed a previous SAFE training (didactic or clinical) or were certified as SANEs/SAFEs (N=87). Second, the evaluation coordinator read the applications in detail and noted those who did not meet the eligibility criteria, which included those who a) had no intention or vague plans for joining or starting a SAFE program (N=68); b) unwilling to participate in the evaluation or two-day clinical component of the training (N=12); and c) did not practice in the United States (N=1). To assess the reliability of the selection procedures, 30 percent of the applications were randomly selected and reviewed by the PI to determine if the same cases were excluded based on the criteria for eligibility (100 percent agreement). Next, the evaluation team and the Project Director discussed the procedures for selecting the applicants from the list of those who met the eligibility criteria. Given the goal of increasing access to training for those working in rural and tribal lands, it was determined that applicants from major metropolitan urban areas would be excluded because they have more accessibility to SAFE training in their regions (N=150). This yielded a sample of N=308 applicants who were invited to participate in the training. Of the 308 participants who originally accepted the invitation, only 200 participants started the training. Of the 200 students in the training, two did not consent to the evaluation even though they originally expressed willingness in their applications. This yielded a final sample for the evaluation as N=198.
Registered nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and physicians in the United States.
The data file has 198 cases and 675 variables
The variables in the data file from Study 1 include information related to training interest, computer use, training goals, and demographics.
The variables in the data file from Study 2a include information from the following modules:
- Forensic science, ethics and self-care
- Patient centered, coordinated team approach
- History and physical
- Anogenital Exam
- Evidence collection
- Medical management
- Program and operational issues
- Justice system
The variables in the data file from Study 3a include the following:
- Feedback on the online didactic component of the training
- Training activities
- Feedback on the two-day clinical training
- A small selection of test questions from the modules used in Study 2a
A response rate of 91 percent was achieved from the participants who completed the sexual assault forensic examiner (SAFE) training (N=151) to those that completed the three month follow-up exam (N=138). No other response rate information is available.
A Likert-type scale was used for several variables.