The purpose of this paper is to validate measures of professional self-efficacy for detecting and responding to child abuse and neglect presentations, and then evaluate a clinical training programme for health professionals in a tertiary-level hospital in Vietnam.
A prospective, cohort design was used and professional self-efficacy was measured immediately prior to, and shortly after, training 116 nurses and doctors in emergency settings. Longer-term follow-up was measured six months later.
Linear mixed modelling showed that there was a statistically significant improvement in efficacy expectations for both suspected and known cases of child abuse and neglect between the pre- and post-test measures at zero and six weeks. These improvements did not persist to the six-month follow-up.
The training succeeded in improving detection and clinical response to child abuse and neglect presentations but not faith in the provision of ongoing support for children and families.
Practice change in emergency settings in Vietnam can be achieved using a sustainable theoretically driven training programme.
Building the capacity of health professionals to respond to cases of child abuse and neglect relies on the strength of the community and support services within which the hospital is located.
Measures of self-efficacy expectations and outcome expectations for responding to child abuse and neglect presentations in emergency settings in Vietnam are now validated.