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 SYMPOSIUM: VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN AND WOMEN
Year : 2008  |  Volume : 54  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 280-286

Preventing child maltreatment: An evidence-based update


1 Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, Offord Centre for Child Studies, Chedoke Site, Patterson Building, 1200 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario, L8N 3Z5, Canada
2 Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences and Pediatrics, Offord Centre for Child Studies, Chedoke Site, Patterson Building, 1200 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario, L8N 3Z5, Canada

Correspondence Address:
H L MacMillan
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences and Pediatrics, Offord Centre for Child Studies, Chedoke Site, Patterson Building, 1200 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario, L8N 3Z5
Canada
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 18953147

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Child maltreatment is a significant public health problem associated with a broad range of negative outcomes in children and adolescents that can extend into adulthood. This review summarizes information about programs aimed at the prevention of child maltreatment evaluated by controlled trials, with a focus on home visitation programs. It does not include programs aimed at prevention of child sexual abuse, the subject of a separate review in this series. We discuss those programs that include one or more measures of child maltreatment and related outcomes (reports of abuse and neglect, injuries, hospitalizations and emergency room visits). Most programs targeting at-risk families have not shown evidence of effectiveness in preventing abuse or neglect. An important exception is the Nurse Family Partnership (NFP), a program provided by nurses to first-time socially disadvantaged mothers beginning prenatally that has undergone rigorous evaluation in three randomized controlled trials. It has shown consistent effects in reducing reports of maltreatment and associated outcomes as well as additional benefits in maternal and child health in high-risk families. A second exception is the promising Early Start program provided by nurses and social workers to at-risk families beginning postnatally. One randomized controlled trial of the program has shown reduced rates of parental reports of severe abuse and hospital attendance for injuries and poisonings, based on records. The characteristics of the NFP and Early Start programs are discussed with special emphasis on ways in which they differ from other home visitation programs.






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Online since 12th February '04
2004 - Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
Official Publication of the Staff Society of the Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow