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Emerg Med J. 2014 Mar;31(3):196-200. doi: 10.1136/emermed-2013-202733. Epub 2013 Jun 28.

Screening methods to detect child maltreatment: high variability in Dutch emergency departments.

Author information

1
Department of Social Paediatrics, Emma Children's Hospital, Academic Medical Center Amsterdam, , Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

In the Netherlands, screening for child maltreatment is mandatory in all emergency departments but it is unclear which screening methods are being used. As a first step towards implementation of a universal screening method across all emergency departments, we assessed the currently used screening methods.

OBJECTIVE:

To provide an overview of the screening methods for child maltreatment across all emergency departments in the Netherlands and to assess their empirical substantiation.

METHODS:

We surveyed all emergency departments in the Netherlands using a questionnaire on screening methods. All screening checklists used in emergency departments were assembled and compared with the literature.

RESULTS:

85 hospitals with an emergency department were approached, 80 of which completed the questionnaire and 77 provided copies of their screening checklists. All participating hospitals use a screening checklist, 41% a screening physical examination, 60% a screening based on parental risk factors and 3% a retrospective review of all charts. The empirical substantiation for these screening methods is largely lacking, and at least 73% of the hospitals use a checklist that has not been reported in the literature.

CONCLUSIONS:

Large variations in screening methods exist across emergency departments in the Netherlands, most of which are not based on empirical evidence.

KEYWORDS:

Paediatrics, non accidental injury; Violence, domestic

PMID:
23811856
DOI:
10.1136/emermed-2013-202733
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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