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Clinical Summary

Child Maltreatment: Primary Care Interventions

Recommendations made by the USPSTF are independent of the U.S. government. They should not be construed as an official position of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Clinical Summary of U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation

 

Population Children and adolescents aged 0 to 18 years without signs or symptoms of maltreatment
Recommendation No recommendation. 
Grade: I statement
Risk Assessment There are numerous risk factors associated with child maltreatment, including but not limited to:
  • Young, single, or nonbiological parents
  • Parental lack of understanding of children's needs, child development, or parenting skills
  • Poor parent–child relationships/negative interactions
  • Parental thoughts or emotions that support maltreatment behaviors
  • Family dysfunction or violence
  • Parental history of abuse or neglect in family of origin
  • Substance abuse within the family
  • Social isolation, poverty, or other socioeconomic disadvantages
  • Parental stress and distress
Interventions Although the evidence is insufficient to recommend specific preventive interventions, most child maltreatment prevention programs focus on home visitation. Home visitation programs usually comprise a combination of services provided by a nurse or paraprofessional in the family's home on a regularly scheduled basis; most programs are targeted to families with young children and often begin in the prenatal or postnatal period.
Balance of Benefits and Harms The evidence on interventions in primary care to prevent child maltreatment among children without signs or symptoms of maltreatment is insufficient, and the balance of benefits and harms cannot be determined.
Other Relevant USPSTF Recommendations The USPSTF has made recommendations on screening for intimate partner violence and abuse of elderly and vulnerable adults. These recommendations are available athttp://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org.

For a summary of the evidence systematically reviewed in making these recommendations, the full recommendation statement, and supporting documents, please go to http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org.

Disclaimer: Recommendations made by the USPSTF are independent of the U.S. government. They should not be construed as an official position of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Current as of: June 2013

Internet Citation: Clinical Summary: Child Maltreatment: Primary Care Interventions. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. October 2014.
https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/ClinicalSummaryFinal/child-maltreatment-primary-care-interventions

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