Understanding parents' information needs and experiences about non-accidental injury - research report

The responsibilities of paediatricians in relation to the recognition of child abuse place them in difficult diagnostic situations which require a sensitive approach. This research set out to explore parents' experiences of situations where concerns of non-accidental injury (NAI) were raised, with a particular focus on communication processes.

About

This project was funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families and the Department of Health as part of their Safeguarding Children 2005 Research Initiative. It formed part of an ongoing programme of work at the RCPCH in the area of child protection.

The project was undertaken over a period of 20 months, between 2006 and 2008. The report was published in 2009.

Aims

  • Explore parents experiences of situations where concerns of non-accidental injury were raised, with a particular focus on communication processes.
  • Generate data on parents’ experiences and set these in context regarding, for example, professional duties and public discourses on child protection.
  • Identify any information that participants wished to receive.
  • Describe how participants remembered and reflected on their experiences.
  • Increase the awareness of paediatricians and other health professionals of what is perceived as helpful and less helpful practice from the parents’ perspective.
  • Make suggestions for paediatric training to improve communication.