1ASS n.1 Triestina, Unità Distrettuale per i Minori
2Servizio di Medicina Materno-Infantile ASL Ferrara
per la Cooperazione Internazionale (Centro collaboratore dell’OMS), IRCCS “Burlo Garofolo”, Trieste
Key words: Child abuse and neglect, Prevention, Child health, Home visiting
The Authors reviewed all available intervention studies that included child abuse among the endpoints. 9 published trials were analyzed. Most of them were carried out in US, a few in UK, Ireland and Canada. The studies evaluated a wide variety of antenatal and/or postnatal programmes targeted to at risk mothers and included one or more of the following interventions: emotional and social support, information, linkage to health, social and community services. Home visits were made by professional or non professional people. Many trials showed a trend towards a protective effect but results rarely reached statistical significance due to insufficient sample size or follow-up. The best results on prevention of child abuse and neglect were shown by the largest trial (324 mothers) with the longest follow-up (15 years). It is practically impossible to draw conclusions from studies that were so etherogeneous. Preventive interventions should have a much wider scope that just prevention of child abuse, should be non selective and multidimensional, but this makes very difficult to evaluate results on specific endpoints.
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