Document Detail

Failure to thrive and the risk of child abuse: a prospective population survey.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  8536184     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: To identify the relative importance of failure to thrive during infancy as a risk factor for later abuse or neglect. DESIGN: Whole population birth cohort (1 January to 31 December 1986) studied prospectively over a four year period. SETTING: An inner city health district in London, England. SUBJECTS: 2609 births, of whom 47 were identified as having non-organic failure to thrive by first birthday. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Registration on Child Protection Register, or subject to investigation of suspected abuse or neglect without registration. RESULTS: 2.5% (64) of birth cohort had been placed on the Child Protection Register during the period 1986-1990, and a further 1.2% (32) had been a cause for concern. The relative risk attributable to non-organic failure to thrive was 4.3 (95% CI 1.65 to 11.94) and exceeded other measured risk factors, including birth weight < 2500 g, 1.96 (95% CI 1.01 to 3.82); gestation < 35 weeks, 3.26 (95% CI 1.32 to 3.75); ordinal position > or = 4, 1.53 (95% CI 0.72 to 3.23). A multiple logistic regression confirmed the independent contribution of non-organic failure to thrive to subsequent poor parenting warranting professional intervention. CONCLUSIONS: Early postnatal non-organic failure to thrive is a risk factor for later serious parenting deficiencies, but previous research has overstated its importance. Within the community studied the nature of subsequent risk was (non-nutritional) neglect, rather than non-accidental injury. More than eight out of 10 cases do not give further cause for concern.
D H Skuse; D Gill; S Reilly; D Wolke; M A Lynch
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of medical screening     Volume:  2     ISSN:  0969-1413     ISO Abbreviation:  J Med Screen     Publication Date:  1995  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1996-02-02     Completed Date:  1996-02-02     Revised Date:  2010-03-24    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9433359     Medline TA:  J Med Screen     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  145-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
Behavioural Sciences Unit, Institute of Child Health, London, United Kingdom.
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MeSH Terms
Age Factors
Child Abuse / statistics & numerical data*
Failure to Thrive / epidemiology*
Infant, Newborn
London / epidemiology
Models, Statistical
Risk Factors
Sex Factors

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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