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NCJ Number: 218760 Find in a Library
Title: Physicians' Initial Forensic Impressions of Hypothetical Cases of Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury
Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect  Volume:31  Issue:4  Dated:April 2007  Pages:329-342
Author(s): Antoinette L. Laskey; Michael J. Sheridan; Kent P. Hymel
Date Published: April 2007
Page Count: 14
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study compared the initial forensic impressions of hypothetical cases of pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI) with those of pathologists and pediatricians.
Abstract: Results indicated that pediatricians and pathologists agreed on how to categorize 8 of the 16 hypothetical cases. In five of these cases the injuries were considered intentionally inflicted while the remaining three were classified as unintentional. Cases that had the highest agreement were those that were either witnessed or those with a confession of abuse. Additionally, acute and life-threatening injuries without any history of trauma were more likely than other cases to be classified as intentionally inflicted. On the other hand, TBI cases easily linked to accidents and those with clinical signs linking the TBI to the perinatal period were likely to be classified as unintentional. In terms of comparisons between professions, pathologists were consistently more likely to classify cases as unintentional. This difference may be due to the pediatricians’ mandated role as an abuse reporter. The findings underscore the need for caution when assigning cases to research categories when only limited information about the circumstances of the injuries is available. Future research should focus on the development of consistent, validated definitions to classify pediatric TBI cases for research purposes. Participants were 275 pediatricians and 263 pathologists who completed the survey either via regular mail, at a teaching workshop, or via electronic mail. Surveys presented 16 hypothetical cases of pediatric TBI and participants were asked for their initial impressions of whether the TBI was unintentional or intentionally inflicted. Characteristics of the hypothetical cases are described and some were presented with little or no access to additional information about the incident in question. Data were coded and statistically analyzed. Tables, figures, references, appendix
Main Term(s): Blunt force trauma injuries; Injury investigations
Index Term(s): Child abuse; Comparative analysis
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