What happens after the hospital? An analysis of longitudinal care needs in children treated for child physical abuse

Brittany L. Johnson, Elizabeth A. Gerzina, Bindi Naik-Mathuria, David E. Wesson, Adam M. Vogel, Christian M. Niedzwecki, Sara C. Fallon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Victims of child physical abuse (CPA) undergo stabilization and social evaluation during initial management. Current data guides the initial hospital course, but few studies evaluate post-hospital care. The aim of this study was to evaluate compliance with recommended post-discharge visits. Methods: A retrospective review of our trauma database at a Level I pediatric trauma center from 2014–2018 was performed. Data included demographics, injuries, and longitudinal outcomes. Descriptive statistics and univariate analyses were performed. Results: There were 401 patients (409 unique presentations). Median age was 7 months. Mortality was 6%. Ninety-five percent (358/377) had recommended appointments with multiple specialty services. Compliance with all recommended visits during the first year after injury was 88%. Patients with complex injuries were as likely to comply with recommended follow-up [72% vs. 67%, p = 0.4]; however, they were more likely to still be receiving care at 1 year (58% vs. 14%, p = 0.0001). Those discharged to CPS custody were more likely to be compliant with their follow-up (90% vs. 82%, p = 0.03). Conclusion: Patients significantly injured due to CPA require more post-hospital care over time. CPA management guidelines should include a mechanism to provide resources to these patients and manage multiple coordinating consultants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1696-1700
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Child physical abuse
  • Long-term morbidity
  • Pediatric
  • Post-hospital care level of evidence: level II

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery


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