Title: Eliminating disparity in evaluation for abuse in infants with head injury: use of a screening guideline
Country: United States
Age: Pediatric Only
Sex: All Sexes
Care Setting: Emergency Department
Clinical Setting: NAT
Data Level: Single Institution
Data Type: EHR
Data Source: Local data
Conclusion: Disparities In All Minority Groups
Health OutComes Reported: Yes
Free Text Conclusion: Black children with unwitnessed head trauma were more likely to be screened for NAT but this was fully mitigated by a screening guideline. Positive skeletal surveys did not differ by race.
Abstract: PURPOSE: Minority and disadvantaged children are evaluated for nonaccidental trauma (NAT) at higher rates than other children. At our institution, we implemented a guideline to perform skeletal surveys to screen for occult fractures in all infants with unwitnessed head injury (UHI). The goal was to determine if this guideline decreased disparities in the screening of African American (AA) and uninsured children. PATIENTS AND METHODS: For 54 months, rates of skeletal surveillance and abuse determination were compared between AA and white infants admitted with UHI before and after implementation of our guideline. Logistic regression was used to control for confounders. RESULTS: Before the guideline, AAs underwent skeletal surveillance more than whites (n = 208; 90.5% vs 69.3%; P = .01), with 20% of screened infants determined to be probable victims of NAT. Whites with private insurance were less likely to be screened compared to those without private insurance (50.0% vs 88.1%; P < .001). After the guideline, AA and whites were surveyed equally (n = 52; 92.3% vs 84.6%; P = 1.0), with 22% found to be probable cases of NAT. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first report of a successful policy-based intervention to decrease disparity in care. The maintenance of a stable rate of NAT determination despite increased screening suggests more victims of abuse may be identified with guideline use, and therefore, this may be an additional benefit of the guideline.