Development of screening tool for child abuse in the Korean emergency department Using modified Delphi study

So Hyun Paek, Jin Hee Jung, Young Ho Kwak, Do Kyun Kim, Jeong Min Ryu, Hyun Noh, Yeon Young Kyong, Young Joon Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Mandatory reporting rate of suspected child abuse by health care provider is relatively low in South Korea. The purpose of the study was to develop a screening tool for child abuse and evaluate the feasibility of using this screening tool in emergency department (ED) of South Korea. Injured children younger than 14 years old in the ED were enrolled as subjects to use this screening tool. Candidate items for screening tool were decided after reviewing relevant previous studies by researchers. Using the modified Delphi method, it was judged that the consensus for items of screening tool was achieved in 2 rounds, and the final item of the screening tool was decided through the discussion in the final round. The registry including the developed screening tool was applied to 6 EDs over 10 weeks. Variables of the registry were retrospectively analyzed. A child abuse screening tool called Finding Instrument for Non-accidental Deeds (FIND) was developed. It included 8 questions. One item (suspected signs in physical examination) had 100% agreement; 3 items (inconsistency with development, inconsistent history by caregivers, and incompatible injury mechanism) had 86.7% agreement; and 4 items (delayed visit, inappropriate relationship, poor hygiene, and head or long bone injury in young infants) had 80% agreement. During the period of registry enrollment, the rate of screening with FIND was 72.9% (n = 2815). 36 (1.3%) cases had 1 or more “positive” responses among 8 items. Two (0.07%) cases were reported to the Child Protection Agency. An ED based screening tool for child abuse consisting of 8 questions for injured children younger than 14 years old was developed. The use of screening tools in Korean ED is expected to increase the reporting rate of child abuse. However, further study is necessary to investigate the accuracy of this screening tool using a national child abuse registry.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13724
JournalMedicine (United States)
Issue number51
StatePublished - Dec 2018


  • Child abuse
  • Delphi technique
  • Emergency department
  • Feasibility studies
  • Screening

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