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Hospital-based child protection teams that care for parents who abuse or neglect their children recognize the need for multidisciplinary collaborative practice involving perinatal care and mental health professionals: a questionnaire survey conducted in Japan

Authors Okato A, Hashimoto T, Tanaka M, Tachibana M, Machizawa A, Okayama J, Endo M, Senda M, Saito N, Iyo M

Received 27 October 2017

Accepted for publication 10 January 2018

Published 22 February 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 121—130


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Ayumi Okato,1 Tasuku Hashimoto,1 Mami Tanaka,2 Masumi Tachibana,1 Akira Machizawa,3 Jun Okayama,4 Mamiko Endo,5 Masayoshi Senda,6,7 Naoki Saito,5,7 Masaomi Iyo1

1Department of Psychiatry, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, 2Division of Clinical Study on Juvenile Delinquency, Center for Forensic Mental Health, Chiba University, 3Department of Psychiatry, Chiba University Hospital, 4Department of Reproductive Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, 5Department of Pediatrics, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, 6Department of Pediatrics, Asahi General Hospital, 7Division of Clinical Forensic Medicine, Education and Research Center of Legal Medicine, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan

Background: Child abuse and/or neglect is a serious issue, and in many cases, parents are the perpetrators. Hospital-based child protection teams (CPTs) play pivotal roles in the management of not only abused and/or neglected children but also of their parents; this is generally conducted through multidisciplinary practice. The aim of this study is to survey hospital-based CPT members to determine the professions they perceive to be most applicable to participation in CPTs.
Participants and methods:
The participants were members of CPTs affiliated with hospitals that had pediatric emergency departments and which were located in Chiba Prefecture; specifically, 114 CPT members from 23 hospitals responded to this survey. The two main questionnaire items concerned are as follows: 1) each respondent’s evaluation of conducting assessments, providing support, and implementing multidisciplinary collaborative practice in the treatment of abusive and negligent parents, and 2) each CPT member’s opinion on the professions that are most important for CPT activities. An exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was performed to explore the factor structure of the data, and a correlation analysis was performed using the result obtained.
Results: The EFA returned two factors: multidisciplinary collaborative practice (α = 0.84) and assessment and support (α = 0.89). A correlational analysis showed that multidisciplinary collaborative practice had a positive correlation for obstetricians (r = 0.315, p = 0.001), neonatologists (r = 0.261, p = 0.007), midwives (r = 0.248, p = 0.011), and psychiatrists (r = 0.194, p = 0.048); however, assessment and support was only significantly correlated with midwives (r = 0.208, p = 0.039).
Conclusion: This study showed that hospital-based CPT members highly evaluate multidisciplinary collaborative practice for the management of abusive and/or negligent parents, and they believe that, in addition to pediatric physicians and nurses, perinatal care and mental health professionals are the most important participants in advanced CPT activities.

Keywords: child abuse and neglect, abusive parents, child protection services, multidisciplinary practice, maltreatment of children

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