Impact of Child Abuse Clinical Pathways on Skeletal Survey Performance in High-risk Infants
We sought: 1) to examine the association between the presence of a child abuse pathway and the odds of skeletal survey performance in infants with injuries associated with high risk of abuse and 2) to determine whether pathway presence decreased disparities in skeletal survey performance. METHODS: In this retrospective study of children <1 year diagnosed with injuries associated with high risk of abuse at hospitals in the Pediatric Hospital Information System, information regarding the presence of a child abuse pathway was collected via survey. We examined whether the presence of a child abuse pathway was associated with the odds of obtaining a skeletal survey, adjusting for patient-level factors. RESULTS: Among 2085 included cases 55% were male, 69% had public insurance, and 64% were white. Fifty-eight percent presented to a hospital when a pathway was present. Skeletal surveys were performed in 86% of children between 0 and 5 months and 73% of children 6-11 months. In our regression model, adjusted for covariates (age, race, insurance, injury) the presence of a child abuse pathway in a hospital was associated with greater odds of skeletal survey performance (odds ratio [OR], 1.46, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02-2.08). Children with public insurance had greater odds of receiving a skeletal survey (OR 2.75, 95% CI 2.11-3.52) despite presence of pathway. CONCLUSIONS: When a child abuse clinical pathway was present, children with injuries associated with a high risk of abuse had a greater odds of receiving a skeletal survey. Differences in skeletal survey performance exist between infants with public vs. private insurance regardless of a pathway.