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Minerva Pediatrics 2021 February;73(1):35-41

DOI: 10.23736/S2724-5276.16.04522-9

Copyright © 2016 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Evaluation of knowledge regarding shaken baby syndrome among parents and medical staff

Urszula MARCINKOWSKA, Kinga TYRAŁA , Monika PANICZEK, Martyna LEDWOŃ, Jadwiga JOŚKO-OCHOJSKA

Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Medicine, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland



BACKGROUND: Shaken baby syndrome (SBS), currently functioning as abusive head trauma (AHT), is a form of violence against children mainly under 2 years of age. The number of SBS might be underestimated, as many cases of violence remain unreported. The aim of the study was the evaluation of the state knowledge of the SBS phenomenon, its scale and diagnostic methods among parents, medical staff and medical students.
METHODS: A total of 639 people were examined: 39% of parents, 32.5% of medical staff members, and 28.5% of medical students; 82% were women. The average age was 34.9±9.78 years, and 70% of them had children. The research tool was an anonymous survey. The 34 questions concerned numerous aspects of violence against children as well as knowledge about SBS.
RESULTS: According to 90% of the interviewees shaking a baby may be dangerous but 43% have never heard about shaken baby syndrome. Eighty-eight percent of responders stated that “SBS is a form of violence,” but only 57% realize that one-time shaking can lead to death and only 19% indicated men as aggressors. Sixteen percent of medical staff members did not know how long it takes for the consequences of shaking a baby to be revealed.
CONCLUSIONS: Majority of the medical staff members working with children have never heard about SBS. Only half of the surveyed understands the connection of shaking with vision loss or child’s death. Among the long-term consequences of shaking a baby, the greatest knowledge concerns emotional consequences of shaking.


KEY WORDS: Shaken baby syndrome; Craniocerebral trauma; Child abuse; Medical staff

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