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Methodological challenges in following up patients of a hospital child protection team: is there a recruitment bias?


Jud, A; Lips, U; Landolt, M A (2010). Methodological challenges in following up patients of a hospital child protection team: is there a recruitment bias? Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, 4:27.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The aims of this study are to describe the methodological challenges in recruiting a follow-up sample of children referred to an interdisciplinary hospital child protection team (CPT) and to compare participating versus non-participating groups on several demographic variables and maltreatment characteristics.
METHODS: Of the 319 in- and outpatients referred to the CPT at University Children's Hospital Zurich from 2005-2006 a sample of 180 children was drawn to contact for a follow-up. The children and their parents were asked to participate in a face-to-face interview at the hospital; in 42 cases the children and parents consented to do so. Alternatively, the parents could take part in a telephone interview (n = 39). Non-participation resulted because no contact or adequate communication in German, French, or English could be established (n = 49) or because the parents or children refused to participate (n = 50).
RESULTS: Participants and non-participants did not differ significantly in mean child age at follow-up, gender, family status, place of residence, certainty and type of maltreatment, and type of perpetrator. However, the child's nationality had a significant impact: Percentages of foreign nationals were higher in the fully participating group (45%; n = 19) and the non-contactable group (53%; n = 26) and significantly lower in the refusal (26%; n = 10) and the telephone interview group (18%; n = 9). Although a high percentage of families had moved in the few years since the CPT intervention (32%; n = 57), the percentage of moves was not significantly higher in non-participants compared to participants.
CONCLUSIONS: Further research is needed to support these results in different national backgrounds and to test for biases in variables not included - especially socioeconomic status. This includes gathering more detailed information on non-participants, while respecting ethical boundaries. Overall, the fact that only child's nationality was unevenly distributed between participants and non-participants is encouraging.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The aims of this study are to describe the methodological challenges in recruiting a follow-up sample of children referred to an interdisciplinary hospital child protection team (CPT) and to compare participating versus non-participating groups on several demographic variables and maltreatment characteristics.
METHODS: Of the 319 in- and outpatients referred to the CPT at University Children's Hospital Zurich from 2005-2006 a sample of 180 children was drawn to contact for a follow-up. The children and their parents were asked to participate in a face-to-face interview at the hospital; in 42 cases the children and parents consented to do so. Alternatively, the parents could take part in a telephone interview (n = 39). Non-participation resulted because no contact or adequate communication in German, French, or English could be established (n = 49) or because the parents or children refused to participate (n = 50).
RESULTS: Participants and non-participants did not differ significantly in mean child age at follow-up, gender, family status, place of residence, certainty and type of maltreatment, and type of perpetrator. However, the child's nationality had a significant impact: Percentages of foreign nationals were higher in the fully participating group (45%; n = 19) and the non-contactable group (53%; n = 26) and significantly lower in the refusal (26%; n = 10) and the telephone interview group (18%; n = 9). Although a high percentage of families had moved in the few years since the CPT intervention (32%; n = 57), the percentage of moves was not significantly higher in non-participants compared to participants.
CONCLUSIONS: Further research is needed to support these results in different national backgrounds and to test for biases in variables not included - especially socioeconomic status. This includes gathering more detailed information on non-participants, while respecting ethical boundaries. Overall, the fact that only child's nationality was unevenly distributed between participants and non-participants is encouraging.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:November 2010
Deposited On:10 Jan 2011 12:16
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 04:50
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1753-2000
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/1753-2000-4-27
PubMed ID:21050452

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