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Acta Paediatr. 2019 Feb;108(2):300-313. doi: 10.1111/apa.14495. Epub 2018 Aug 14.

Screening for child abuse using a checklist and physical examinations in the emergency department led to the detection of more cases.

Author information

1
Department of Social Pediatrics, Emma Children's Hospital-Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
2
Faculty of Medicine, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
3
Department of Radiology, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
4
Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
5
Emma Children's Hospital-Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Abstract

AIM:

We studied the accuracy of a screening checklist (SPUTOVAMO), complete physical examination (top-to-toe inspection, TTI) and their combination in detecting child abuse in the emergency department (ED).

METHODS:

Consecutive patients admitted to the ED of the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam between January 2011 and 1 July 2013 were included. An Expert Panel assigned a consensus diagnosis to positive cases. For all other and missed cases, the Child Abuse Counselling and Reporting Centre diagnosis was used.

RESULTS:

We included 17 229 admissions of 12 198 patients. In 46%, SPUTOVAMO was performed, in 33% TTI; 421 children (4.3%) tested positive on either or both, with 68 positive consensus diagnoses. In eight children not reported to the Expert Panel, the Child Abuse Counselling and Reporting Center diagnosis was positive. Ten of 3519 (0.3%) children testing negative on both were child abuse cases; 0.88% of the study group had a final child abuse diagnosis. The estimated PPV was 0.46 for SPUTOVAMO, 0.44 for TTI and 0.43 for the combination.

CONCLUSION:

Combining screening tests significantly increased the number of test positives and led to more child abuse cases detected. Combined screening for child abuse in all children less than 18 years old presenting to an ED is recommended.

KEYWORDS:

Checklist; Child abuse and neglect; Diagnostic accuracy; Emergency department; Physical examination

PMID:
29992712
DOI:
10.1111/apa.14495

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