Screening for child abuse at emergency departments: a systematic review
Introduction: Child abuse is a serious problem worldwide and can be difficult to detect. Although children who experience the consequences of abuse will probably be treated at an emergency department, detection rates of child abuse at emergency departments remain low. OBJECTIVE: To identify effective interventions applied at emergency departments that significantly increase the detection rate of confirmed cases of child abuse. DESIGN: This review was carried out according to the Cochrane Handbook. Two reviewers individually searched Pubmed, The Cochrane Library, EMBASE, Web of Science, and CINAHL for papers that met the inclusion criteria. RESULTS: Fifteen papers describing interventions were selected and reviewed; four of these were finally included and assessed for quality. In these studies the intervention consisted of a checklist of indicators of risk for child abuse. After implementation, the rate of detected cases of suspected child abuse increased by 180% (weighted mean in 3 studies). The number of confirmed cases of child abuse, reported in two out of four studies, showed no significant increase. CONCLUSIONS: Interventions at emergency departments to increase the detection rate of cases of confirmed child abuse are scarce in the literature. Past study numbers and methodology have been inadequate to show conclusive evidence on effectiveness.
|Archives of Disease in Childhood: an international peer-reviewed journal for health professionals and researchers covering conception to adolescence|
|Organisation||Department of Pediatrics|
Louwers, E.C.F.M, Affourtit, M.J, Moll, H.A, de Koning, H.J, & Korfage, I.J. (2010). Screening for child abuse at emergency departments: a systematic review. Archives of Disease in Childhood: an international peer-reviewed journal for health professionals and researchers covering conception to adolescence (Vol. 95, pp. 214–218). doi:10.1136/adc.2008.151654
|LouwersADC Screening for child abuse Online First 17-7-09.doc Final Version , 238kb|