A descriptive study of mental health services provided for physically abused children in Sweden: A four-year follow-up of child and adolescent psychiatric charts
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Since there has been a considerable increase in the number of police reports on physical child abuse in Sweden since the mid 1980s, there should be an increased number of children in need of trauma-focused mental health treatment. During 1986-1996 there were 126 children reported as being physically abused by a parent or equivalent and reported to the police in a police district in Sweden. Fifty-seven of these children (45%) had been the objects of interventions from Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Services. The aim of this study was to investigate the extent and content of this. Questions addressed were: What interventions were provided prior to, at the acute situation, and during the 4 years after the physical abuse incident? This group of children was referred to (CAPS) for different reasons, but few for physical abuse. Only 35 out of 122 referrals were made under the label of child physical abuse. Overall, interventions were almost exclusively directed toward the parents. Six out of 126 physically abused children received individual therapy. Abuse was not mentioned in the charts for 23 of the children, even though 8 of them had been referred due to abuse. The results of this study indicate that physically abused children often have been in contact with mental health services prior to the abuse for different reasons. Individual interventions for physically abused children were rare due to for instance CAPS workloads, poor motivation among parents and children, and maybe due to professionals’ lack of knowledge regarding effective treatment.
Child physical abuse, mental health services, intervention, therapy, follow-up
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-63719OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-63719DiVA: diva2:382429