Research and Evaluation

Ongoing evaluation helps BulletPoints' content meet the needs of clinicians and educators

BulletPoints is an evidence-based curriculum that will undergo ongoing evaluation to identify effective and sustainable strategies to teach clinicians about firearm injury prevention.

The BulletPoints team works with leaders in medical education to identify gaps in their current curricula and to design novel training materials on firearm injury prevention that can be integrated into their programs. To measure the uptake and reach of the BulletPoints curriculum, we will track the number, types, and institutional affiliations of clinicians who receive our training. Before and after the training, trainees will be surveyed to assess their knowledge of and willingness to engage in firearm counseling with patients. The results of these early evaluation efforts will help us refine our curricular content, media, and dissemination methods.

Firearm injury should be treated like a disease process…education about its causes and primary and secondary treatment should be a priority.

Surgeon, Keck School of Medicine at USC

A growing body of evidence demonstrates that clinicians believe they have a role in firearm injury prevention and need more training on the topic.

Data from the What You Can Do Initiative. Clinicians from 48 states and more than 20 specialties have made the public commitment to counsel their at-risk patients.

With the launch of the What You Can Do initiative, an initiative started at UC Davis mobilizing health care providers to engage in firearm injury prevention, more than 3,600 clinicians, including nearly 500 in California, made the public commitment to talk with patients about firearm safety when risk factors are present.

In surveys, clinicians report that they need more education and training to identify patients at risk and to intervene appropriately.1,2

This was echoed by clinician-leaders in our recent needs assessment, 88% (n = 25) of whom indicated that the improvement of education on firearm injury prevention should be a priority at their institution or organization. The BulletPoints team continues to work with key stakeholders to ensure that the educational materials meet their needs and to overcome any barriers to implementation.

“Regardless of our specialty choice, it is guaranteed that we will encounter patients who live in a home with guns, own guns themselves, or have been victims of gun violence, and it is imperative that we receive training on how to effectively counsel patients on firearm violence and safety.”

– Student, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Early indicators suggest that online video educational tools, like continuing medical education (CME), can help clinicians gain knowledge and confidence on this topic. After viewing a 45-minute video entitled “Preventing Firearm-Related Injury and Death: A Targeted Intervention,” the proportion of learners (n = 150) who felt confident in their ability to identify patients at risk increased from 39% to 93%; the proportion who felt ready to discuss firearm safety with at-risk patients increased from 50% to 92%.

Data from Spring 2020 CME California Summary Report for Preventing Firearm-Related Injury and Death: A Targeted Intervention

We will assess the effectiveness of BulletPoints materials in increasing clinicians’ knowledge, confidence, and willingness to engage in firearm injury prevention strategies. In addition to these immediate outcomes, we aim to assess changes in providers’ clinical practice and patient outcomes, such as receptiveness to counseling and changes in firearm storage practices.

Click to view references

  1. Everett, S. A., Price, J. H., Bedell, A. W., et al. (1997). Family Practice Physicians' Firearm Safety Counseling Beliefs and Behaviors. Journal of Community Health.
  2. Grossman, D. C., Mang, K., & Rivara, F. P. (1995). Firearm Injury Prevention Counseling by Pediatricians and Family Physicians. Practices and Beliefs. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
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