First name
Colleen
Middle name
E
Last name
Bennett

Title

Child Abuse Imaging and Findings in the Time of COVID-19.

Year of Publication

2022

Number of Pages

65-69

Date Published

2022 Feb 01

ISSN Number

1535-1815

Abstract

<p><strong>OBJECTIVE: </strong>To assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on physical abuse in young children, we compared the following before and during the pandemic: (1) skeletal survey volume, (2) percent of skeletal surveys revealing clinically unsuspected (occult) fractures, and (3) clinical severity of presentation. We hypothesized that during the pandemic, children with minor abusive injuries would be less likely to present for care, but severely injured children would present at a comparable rate to prepandemic times. We expected that during the pandemic, the volume of skeletal surveys would decrease but the percentage revealing occult fractures would increase and that injury severity would increase.</p>

<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>We conducted a retrospective study of children younger than 2 years undergoing skeletal surveys because of concern for physical abuse at a tertiary children's hospital. Subjects were identified by querying a radiology database during the March 15, 2019-October 15, 2019 (pre-COVID-19) period and the March 15, 2020-October 15, 2020 (COVID-19) period, followed by chart review to refine our population and abstract clinical and imaging data.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>Pre-COVID-19, 160 skeletal surveys were performed meeting the inclusion criteria, compared with 125 during COVID-19, representing a 22% decrease. No change was observed in identification of occult fractures (6.9% pre-COVID vs 6.4% COVID, P = 0.87). Clinical severity of presentation did not change, and child protective services involvement/referral decreased during COVID.</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSIONS: </strong>Despite a &gt;20% decrease in skeletal survey performance early in the pandemic, the percent of skeletal surveys revealing occult fractures did not increase. Our results suggest that decreases in medical evaluations for abuse did not stem from decreased presentation of less severely injured children.</p>

DOI

10.1097/PEC.0000000000002630

Alternate Title

Pediatr Emerg Care

PMID

35100743

Title

Recent Trends in Marijuana-Related Hospital Encounters in Young Children.

Year of Publication

2021

Date Published

2021 Jul 26

ISSN Number

1876-2867

Abstract

<p><strong>OBJECTIVES: </strong>Multiple states have passed legislation permitting marijuana use. The impact of legalization on trends in hospital encounters for marijuana exposures in young children across states remains unknown. We aimed to describe trends in marijuana-related hospital encounters over time in children &lt;6 years and assess the association of state-level marijuana legislation with the rate of marijuana-related hospitalizations.</p>

<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>We identified inpatient, emergency department and observation encounters for children &lt;6 years with marijuana exposures (defined by International Classification of Diseases diagnosis codes) unique on the patient-year level at 52 children's hospitals in the Pediatric Health Information System database from 01/01/2004-12/31/2018. Trends in encounters across the study period were evaluated using negative binomial regression with outcome of marijuana-related hospital encounters and year as the predictor variable accounting for clustering by hospital. We then estimated a negative binomial regression difference-in-differences model to examine the association between the main outcome and state recreational and medical marijuana legalization.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>Of the 1296 included unique patient-year encounters, 50% were female with mean age 2.1 years (SD=1.4). Fifty percent were inpatient (n=645) and 15% required intensive care with 4% requiring mechanical ventilation. There was a 13.3-fold increase in exposures in 2018 compared to 2004 (p &lt;0.001). We did not find an effect of state legalization status for recreational (p=0.24) or medical (p=0.30) marijuana.</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSIONS: </strong>The observed dramatic increase in marijuana-related hospital encounters highlights the need for prevention strategies aimed at reducing unintentional marijuana exposures in young children, even in states without legislation permitting marijuana use.</p>

DOI

10.1016/j.acap.2021.07.018

Alternate Title

Acad Pediatr

PMID

34325061

Title

Evaluation of the abdomen in the setting of suspected child abuse.

Year of Publication

2021

Date Published

2021 Mar 23

ISSN Number

1432-1998

Abstract

<p>Abusive intra-abdominal injuries are less common than other types of injuries, such as fractures and bruises, identified in victims of child physical abuse, but they can be deadly. No single abdominal injury is pathognomonic for abuse, but some types and constellations of intra-abdominal injuries are seen more frequently in abused children. Identification of intra-abdominal injuries can be important clinically or forensically. Injuries that do not significantly change clinical management can still elevate a clinician's level of concern for abuse and thereby influence subsequent decisions affecting child protection efforts. Abusive intra-abdominal injuries can be clinically occult, necessitating screening laboratory evaluations to inform decisions regarding imaging. Once detected, consideration of developmental abilities of the child, type and constellation of injuries, and the forces involved in any provided mechanism of trauma are necessary to inform assessments of plausibility of injury mechanisms and level of concern for abuse. Here we describe the clinical, laboratory and imaging evaluation of the abdomen in the setting of suspected child abuse.</p>

DOI

10.1007/s00247-020-04944-2

Alternate Title

Pediatr Radiol

PMID

33755750

Title

Healthcare Utilization for Children in Foster Care.

Year of Publication

2019

Date Published

2019 Oct 14

ISSN Number

1876-2867

Abstract

<p><strong>OBJECTIVE: </strong>To utilize hospital EMR data for children placed in foster care (FC) and a matched control group to compare: 1) healthcare utilization rates for primary care, subspecialty care, emergency department (ED) visits, and hospitalizations; 2) overall charges per patient-year; and, 3) prevalence of complex chronic conditions (CCC) and their effect on utilization.</p>

<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>Children ≤18 years old with a designation of FC placement and controls matched on age, race/ethnicity, gender, and zip code who had an encounter at an urban pediatric health system between 7/1/11-6/30/12 were identified in the EMR. Data on outpatient, ED, and inpatient encounters and charges for 7/1/12-6/30/13 were obtained. A general linear mixed effects model was applied to estimate means and rates for each group. Analyses were repeated among the subpopulations of children with and without CCCs.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>1,156 FC cases were matched to 4,062 controls (mean=3.5 controls/case). FC cases had significantly higher rates (per 100 patient-years) of hospitalizations (18.5 vs. 12.7, p=0.005), and subspecialty visits (173.3 vs. 113.6; p&lt;0.001) but not ED (50.4 vs. 45.2, p=0.056) or primary care visits (154.6 v. 149.8; p=0.50). FC cases had higher charges ($14,372 vs. $7,082; p&lt;0.001). Among children with CCCs, healthcare utilization rates and charges were higher among FC cases (all p&lt;0.001). Among children without CCC, rates and charges were similar for FC cases and controls (all p&gt;0.2).</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSIONS: </strong>FC children utilized more hospitalizations and subspecialty office visits. The increased utilization rates and charges among children in FC were driven by the subset of children with CCCs.</p>

DOI

10.1016/j.acap.2019.10.004

Alternate Title

Acad Pediatr

PMID

31622784

Title

The Impact of Child Sexual Abuse Discovery on Caregivers and Families: A Qualitative Study.

Year of Publication

2017

Number of Pages

886260517714437

Date Published

2017 Jun 01

ISSN Number

1552-6518

Abstract

<p>In this qualitative study with nonoffending caregivers of suspected child sexual abuse victims, we aimed to explore the perceived impact of sexual abuse discovery on caregivers and their families, and caregivers' attitudes about mental health services for themselves. We conducted semistructured, in-person interviews with 22 nonoffending caregivers of suspected sexual abuse victims &lt;13 years old seen at a child advocacy center in Philadelphia. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, coded, and analyzed using modified grounded theory. Recruitment continued until thematic saturation was reached. We found that caregivers experienced significant emotional and psychological distress, characterized by anger, depressed mood, and guilt, after learning that their child may have been sexually abused. We identified four specific sources of caregiver distress: concerns about their child, negative beliefs about their parenting abilities, family members' actions and behaviors, and memories of their own past maltreatment experiences. Some caregivers described worsening family relationships after discovery of their child's sexual abuse, while others reported increased family cohesion. Finally, we found that most caregivers in this study believed that mental health services for themselves were necessary or beneficial to help them cope with the impact of their child's sexual abuse. These results highlight the need for professionals working with families affected by sexual abuse to assess the emotional and psychological needs of nonoffending caregivers and offer mental health services. Helping caregivers link to mental health services, tailored to their unique needs after sexual abuse discovery, may be an acceptable strategy to improve caregiver and child outcomes after sexual abuse.</p>

DOI

10.1177/0886260517714437

Alternate Title

J Interpers Violence

PMID

29294788

Title

Caregiver perceptions about mental health services after child sexual abuse.

Year of Publication

2016

Number of Pages

284-94

Date Published

2016 Jan

ISSN Number

1873-7757

Abstract

<p>The objective of this study was to describe caregiver perceptions about mental health services (MHS) after child sexual abuse (CSA) and to explore factors that affected whether their children linked to services. We conducted semi-structured, in-person interviews with 22 non-offending caregivers of suspected CSA victims&lt;13 years old seen at a child advocacy center in Philadelphia. Purposive sampling was used to recruit caregivers who had (n=12) and had not (n=10) linked their children to MHS. Guided by the Health Belief Model framework, interviews assessed perceptions about: CSA severity, the child's susceptibility for adverse outcomes, the benefits of MHS, and the facilitators and barriers to MHS. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, coded, and analyzed using modified grounded theory. Recruitment ended when thematic saturation was reached. Caregivers expressed strong reactions to CSA and multiple concerns about adverse child outcomes. Most caregivers reported that MHS were generally necessary for children after CSA. Caregivers who had not linked to MHS, however, believed MHS were not necessary for their children, most commonly because they were not exhibiting behavioral symptoms. Caregivers described multiple access barriers to MHS, but caregivers who had not linked reported that they could have overcome these barriers if they believed MHS were necessary for their children. Caregivers who had not linked to services also expressed concerns about MHS being re-traumatizing and stigmatizing. Interventions to increase MHS linkage should focus on improving communication with caregivers about the specific benefits of MHS for their children and proactively addressing caregiver concerns about MHS.</p>

DOI

10.1016/j.chiabu.2015.09.009

Alternate Title

Child Abuse Negl

PMID

26602155

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