Publication type: Conference other
Type of review: Peer review (abstract)
Title: Child maltreatment and its early detection in health care : lessons from a comprehensive study in Switzerland
Authors: Lätsch, David
et. al: Yes
Conference details: ISPCAN International Congress 2019, Muscat, Oman, Qatar, September 15-17, 2019
Issue Date: 15-Sep-2019
Language: English
Subject (DDC): 362: Health and social services
Abstract: Objectives: Roughly one out of ten children growing up in Switzerland suffer from serious maltreatment by their parents. Experts in the field have argued that professionals from health care should play a more prominent role in the early detection of child maltreatment. Our comprehensive study sought to establish whether best practices with regard to this objective exist. Methods: The study integrates findings from: i.) a systematic review of the international literature, ii.) a qualitative content analysis of relevant documents and guidelines used in Swiss health care (N=67), iii.) a content analysis of interviews with international experts (N=11), and iv.) a telephone survey with health-care professionals in Switzerland (N=159). Results: Several diagnostic tools that may be used in health care to assess the risk for maltreatment have been shown to possess promising predictive validity. However, only a small fraction of professionals make use of such tools, for a number of reasons. First, tools are considered to be insufficiently sensitive to specific areas of practice. Second, professionals argue that using the tools might undermine patients’ trust in professionals and thus threaten the helping relationship. Third, there is concern that overly sensitive tools might produce large numbers of false positives. Fourth, professionals lack appropriate knowledge in responding to suspected child maltreatment, which makes them shy away from inquiring about possible cases. Conclusions: * When introducing new tools, substantial resources must be allocated to the translation, implementation and validation in particular contexts of practice. Strong participation of the professional community in this process is indispensable. * The implementation must be embedded in a comprehensive strategy that structures how suspected child maltreatment is responded to. Response networks should be inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional. * Professionals must be trained in the use of tools and in responding to suspected maltreatment, and such training should be regularly refreshed.
Fulltext version: Published version
License (according to publishing contract): Not specified
Departement: Social Work
Organisational Unit: Institute of Childhood, Youth and Family (IKJF)
Appears in Collections:Publikationen Soziale Arbeit

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