Cadernos de Saúde Pública
Print version ISSN 0102-311X
MOURA, Anna Tereza Miranda Soares de; MORAES, Claudia Leite and REICHENHEIM, Michael Eduardo. Detection of child abuse: missed opportunities in emergency rooms in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2008, vol.24, n.12, pp. 2926-2936. ISSN 0102-311X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2008001200022.
Emergency rooms require special consideration since their often-distressful routines may hamper the detection and handling of family violence cases. This study estimated the magnitude of violence against children reported by users of two emergency hospitals in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It also evaluated the degree of underreporting by contrasting the present findings to cases reported routinely. 524 parents/guardians of children under 12 treated at the hospitals from January to March 2005 were interviewed. Twelve-month prevalence of family violence was measured with the Conflict Tactics Scales: Parent-Child (CTSPC). All cases reported by staff and officially recorded in the preceding year were identified. Prevalence of psychological aggression, negligence, and physical violence were 94.8% (95%CI: 92.9-96.2), 60.3% (95%CI: 55.9-64.7), and 47.2% (95%CI: 42.7-51.8), respectively. However, the corresponding prevalence rates according to routinely reported information were 0.007% (95%CI: 0.003-0.013), 0.24% (95%CI: 0.22-0.27), and 0.03% (95%CI: 0.02-0.04). This striking difference suggests that case identification and strategies to report violence against children in emergency rooms need to be reevaluated.
Keywords : Child Abuse; Packaged Hospitals; Domestic Violence.