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BMJ Open ; 14(1): e080183, 2024 01 03.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-38171627


INTRODUCTION: While the factors commonly associated with an increased risk of child maltreatment (CM) were found to be increased during COVID-19, reports of actual maltreatment showed varying trends. Similarly, evidence regarding the impact of COVID-19 on CM within the European Cooperation on Science and Technology and Network Collaborative (COST) Action countries remains inconsistent. This scoping review aims to explore the extent and nature of evidence pertaining to CM within the countries affiliated with the Child Abuse and Neglect in Europe Action Network (Euro-CAN), funded by the COST. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: Key electronic databases were searched to identify eligible papers, reports and other material published between January 2020 and April 2023: PubMed, EMBASE, PsycINFO, Social Policy and Practice, Scopus and Web of Science. To cover the breadth of evidence, a systematic and broad search strategy was applied using a combination of keywords and controlled vocabulary for four concepts: children, maltreatment, COVID-19 and Euro-CAN countries, without restrictions on study design or language. Grey literature was searched in OpenGrey and Google Scholar. Two reviewers will independently screen full-text publications for eligibility and undertake data extraction, using a customised grid. The screening criteria and data charting will be piloted by the research team.The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) extension for scoping reviews will be followed to present the results. Results will be summarised in a tabular form and narratively. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This review will identify and summarise publicly available data, without requiring ethical approval. The findings will be disseminated to the Euro-CAN Network and reported to the COST Association. They will also be published in a peer-reviewed journal. This protocol is registered on Open Science Framework.

COVID-19 , Maus-Tratos Infantis , Criança , Humanos , COVID-19/epidemiologia , Pandemias , Sistemas Computacionais , Europa (Continente)/epidemiologia , Projetos de Pesquisa , Revisões Sistemáticas como Assunto , Literatura de Revisão como Assunto
Int J Legal Med ; 138(1): 3-14, 2024 Jan.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37828300


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: To improve the currently low conviction rate in cases of child abuse a forensic examination center for children and adolescents (FOKUS) was established in Vienna, Austria. Besides a state of the art treatment combined with forensic documentation, one of FOKUS' key goals is to identify potential areas for improvements within the process legal proceedings in cases of child abuse through constant scientific monitoring. The accompanying study at hand includes all patients referred to FOKUS within a two year timeframe (n = 233), monitoring their progression from first contact with the medical professionals from FOKUS to the end of criminal proceedings. A detailed analysis of case files was performed in those cases that were reported to the legal authorities by the clinicians of FOKUS (n = 87). Aim of the study is to investigate which factors contribute to the initiation of legal proceedings and a successful conviction. RESULTS: Multivariate logistic regression analyses showed that main proceedings were opened more often in cases where the offender was an adult (p < 0.001) or admitted his guilt (p < 0.001) and if digital traces were available (p = 0.001) or trial support (p = 0.024) present. Furthermore, the combined occurrence of medical documentation and victim disclosure was related to a higher probability of opening main trials. CONCLUSION: These findings underline how challenging the successful persecution of an offender in cases of child abuse is.

Abuso Sexual na Infância , Maus-Tratos Infantis , Criança , Adulto , Adolescente , Humanos , Áustria , Maus-Tratos Infantis/diagnóstico , Documentação , Revelação , Abuso Sexual na Infância/diagnóstico
BMJ Open ; 13(7): e071536, 2023 07 14.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37451739


OBJECTIVE: To describe characteristics of suspected child abuse and neglect (CAN) cases associated with the decision of paediatric departments (PDs) in Vienna, Austria, to involve services of a regional tertiary child protection service programme (Forensische Kinder- und JugendUntersuchungsStelle, FOKUS). DESIGN: Retrospective cohort analysis of a regional data collection of CAN cases over the first 2 years of FOKUS's operational period (1 July 2015-30 June 2017). SETTING: All CAN cases reported to the PDs of six public hospitals in Vienna. Five of these public hospitals were secondary heath care centres and one was a tertiary healthcare centre. RESULTS: Overall, 231 cases (59.1%) were treated without and 160 (40.9%) with additional involvement of the FOKUS service programme. The odds of a case to be treated without FOKUS involvement were higher if neglect was suspected (OR 3.233, 95% CI 2.024 to 5.279). In contrast, when sexual abuse was suspected, the odds for involvement with FOKUS were significantly higher (OR 7.577, 95% CI 4.580 to 12.879). The odds of being managed with FOKUS services nearly doubled when multiple forms of abuse were suspected (OR 1.926, 95% CI 1.136 to 3.285). The odds for additional FOKUS involvement were significantly lower for patients treated as inpatients (OR 0.239, 95% CI 0.151 to 0.373). CAN patients managed with FOKUS involvement were significantly more often reported to law enforcement (LE) (OR 3.234, 95% CI 2.078 to 5.002). Concurrently, suspected sexual abuse cases and cases reported to LE were more frequently treated in the PD of the tertiary centre than in other PDs (χ2 p<0.001). CONCLUSION: CAN case characteristics significantly influenced if PDs involved a tertiary child protection programme. Suspected sexual abuse, if more than one form of CAN was suspected and cases reported to LE required additional specialist expertise. For suspected neglect involvement of tertiary services seemed less important.

Abuso Sexual na Infância , Maus-Tratos Infantis , Criança , Humanos , Estudos Retrospectivos , Áustria/epidemiologia , Maus-Tratos Infantis/diagnóstico , Maus-Tratos Infantis/prevenção & controle , Estudos de Coortes , Hospitais Públicos , Abuso Sexual na Infância/prevenção & controle