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NCJ Number: 228782 Find in a Library
Title: Current Practice in Physical Child Abuse Forensic Reports: A Preliminary Exploration
Journal: Child Abuse and Neglect  Volume:33  Issue:10  Dated:October 2009  Pages:679-683
Author(s): Marcellina Mian; Catherine F. Schryer; Marlee M. Spafford; Jan Joosten; Lorelei Lingard
Date Published: October 2009
Page Count: 5
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study analyzed a collection of forensic reports and reported on actual practice in forensic report writing by Child Abuse Pediatrics (CAP) physicians.
Abstract: The analysis of forensic reports showed that overall Child Abuse Pediatrics (CAP) physicians observed the main recommendations: to inform future medical care for the child and legal decisions related to the case, and support the task of reaching a conclusion as to whether or not maltreatment was verifiable. However, like mental health forensic reports, they fell short of recommendations, with omissions similar to those found in emergency department records in child abuse cases. Notably missing information was the child's symptoms, development, growth parameters, injury descriptions, as well as eye examination and testing results. Reports on young children and the more severely injured did not show a consistent pattern of inclusion or exclusion of these feature categories compared to the total sample. The patterns of absence in forensic reports support the creation of a structured form for writing them that would be comprehensive enough to allow for the range in child abuse cases. The CAP was recently approved as a new subspecialty by the American Board of Pediatrics with one of the critical skills of the domain, writing of forensic reports. The literature on forensic report guidelines is sparse, with no literature on CAP report writing practice. Through an analysis of 82 forensic reports, this study provided descriptive data to support future practice, research, and education initiatives in this field. Tables and references
Main Term(s): Child abuse reporting
Index Term(s): Child abuse investigations; Forensic sciences; Medical and dental services; Medical evaluation; Physician child abuse neglect role; Report writing
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