Secondary Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Pediatric Sexual Abuse

An Interprofessional Approach to Optimizing Emergency Care

Jordan, Kathleen S., DNP, MS, FNP-BC, ENP-BC, ENP-C, SANE-P, FAEN1,2; Steelman, Sara H., MD, FAAP, FACEP2; Leary, Marlea, MSW, LCSW3; Varela-Gonzalez, Lina, MSN, BSN, RN, SANE3,4; Lassiter, Shannon L., MHA, BSN, RN, CPEN3; Montminy, Lucy, MSN, FNP-C, SANE-A3; Bellow, Emily F., BSN, CEN, FNE3

doi: 10.1097/JFN.0000000000000232
Original Articles

Introduction: Pediatric sexual abuse can lead to devastating lifelong consequences for the child, their caregivers, and society at large. To achieve the goal of optimizing patient outcomes, strategies to enhance teamwork, education, and mentorship are essential. The ultimate goal of child safety and protection through an evidence-based approach will only be attained when interprofessional alignment of expertise and resources is implemented.

Methods: This project was implemented in a mixed-method design in two phases. Phase 1 was a face-to-face, evidence-based, 3.5-hour educational intervention involving members of the interprofessional emergency care team. Phase 2 consisted of focus groups to discover specific concerns emergency care providers encounter and to provide a forum for discussion on methods to improve care delivery. Data analysis was conducted to examine changes before and after education intervention and to identify themes discovered in focus groups.

Results: There was a significant increase in the knowledge, confidence, and self-efficacy of the interprofessional emergency care team regarding sexual abuse after the education intervention. General themes identified in the focus groups included (a) the importance of advancing one's knowledge and skill set in this specialized area, (b) the importance of interprofessional collaboration in the emergency department and with community partners, (c) implementation of evidence-based national guidelines, and (d) ideas for improved quality and safety in the care of the sexually abused child.

Discussion: Education and collaboration through an interprofessional approach are required for the promotion of quality and safety for the child presenting with alleged sexual abuse.

1The University of North Carolina at Charlotte;

2Mid-Atlantic Emergency Medical Associates;

3Emergency Services, Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center;

4Behavioral Health Department, Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center.

This research was supported by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte School of Nursing Directors Grant (#120059).

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Correspondence: Kathleen S. Jordan, DNP, MS, FNP-BC, ENP-BC, ENP-C, SANE-P, FAEN, 3839 Swanson Road, Sherrills Ford, NC 28673. E-mail:

Received July 17, 2019; Accepted December 20, 2018

© 2019 by the International Association of Forensic Nurses. All rights reserved.
You currently do not have access to this article

To access this article:

Note: If your society membership provides full-access, you may need to login on your society website