A needle in a haystack : the use of routinely collected emergency department injury surveillance data to help identify physical child abuse

Scott, Debbie, Walker, Sue M., Fraser, Jennifer A., & Vallmuur, Kirsten (2014) A needle in a haystack : the use of routinely collected emergency department injury surveillance data to help identify physical child abuse. International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion, 21(3), pp. 227-235.

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A retrospective, descriptive analysis of a sample of children under 18 years presenting to a hospital emergency department (ED) for treatment of an injury was conducted. The aim was to explore characteristics and identify differences between children assigned abuse codes and children assigned unintentional injury codes using an injury surveillance database.

Only 0.1% of children had been assigned the abuse code and 3.9% a code indicating possible abuse. Children between 2-5 years formed the largest proportion of those coded to abuse. Superficial injury and bruising were the most common types of injury seen in children in the abuse group and the possible abuse group (26.9% and 18.8% respectively), whereas those with unintentional injury were most likely to present with open wounds (18.4%).

This study demonstrates that routinely collected injury surveillance data can be a useful source of information for describing injury characteristics in children assigned abuse codes compared to those assigned no abuse codes.

Impact and interest:

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2 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 67118
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: child maltreatment, injury surveillance, emergency department, physical abuse, CEDM
DOI: 10.1080/17457300.2013.806558
ISSN: 1566-0974
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Health Information Systems (incl. Surveillance) (111711)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Research Centres > National Centre for Health Information Research & Training
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Crown Copyright
Deposited On: 10 Feb 2014 22:21
Last Modified: 04 Oct 2015 01:10

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