In-house consultation to support professionals’ responses to child abuse and neglect: Determinants of professionals’ use and the association with guideline adherence

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Abstract

This study examined the presence and strengths of determinants associated with consultation of an in-house expert on child abuse and neglect (CAN) by preventive child health care professionals who suspect CAN. This study also assessed the relationship between in-house CAN expert consultation and professionals’ performance of six recommended activities described in a national guideline on preventing CAN for preventive child health care professionals. A total of 154 professionals met the study’s inclusion criteria. They filled in a questionnaire that measured in-house consultation practices and twelve determinants associated with the professional, the in-house expert, and the organizational context. Bivariate and multivariate regression analyses were performed. Almost half of the participants (46.8%) reported to consult the in-house expert in (almost) all of their suspected CAN cases. Professionals who reported better recollection of consulting the in-house expert (i.e. not forgetting to consult the expert) (p = .001), who were more familiar with consultation (p = .002), who had more positive attitudes and beliefs about consultation (p = .011) and who reported being more susceptible to the behavior (p = .001) and expectations/opinions (p = .025) of colleagues regarding in-house expert consultation were more likely to consult the in-house expert. Furthermore, in-house expert consultation was positively associated with two of six key guideline activities: consulting the regional child protection service and monitoring whether support was provided to families. The implications of these results for improving professionals’ responses to CAN are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-251
JournalChild abuse & neglect
Volume69
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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