Training pediatric residents in a primary care clinic to help address psychosocial problems and prevent child maltreatment

Acad Pediatr

Objective: The objectives of this study were to determine whether 1) residents trained in the SEEK (A Safe Environment for Every Kid) model would report improved attitudes, knowledge, comfort, competence, and practice regarding screening for psychosocial risk factors (parental depression, parental substance abuse, intimate partner violence, stress, corporal punishment, and food insecurity); 2) intervention residents would be more likely to screen for and assess those risk factors; and 3) families seen by intervention residents would report improved satisfaction with their child's doctor compared to families receiving standard care from control residents.

Methods: Pediatric residents in a university-based pediatrics continuity clinic were enrolled onto a randomized controlled trial of the SEEK model. The model included resident training about psychosocial risk factors, a Parent Screening Questionnaire, and a study social worker. Outcome measures included: 1) residents' baseline, 6-month, and 18-month post-training surveys, 2) medical record review, and 3) parents' satisfaction regarding doctor-parent interaction.

Results: Ninety-five residents participated. In 4 of 6 risk areas, intervention residents scored higher on the self-assessment compared to control subjects, with sustained improvement at 18 months. Intervention residents were more likely than control subjects to screen and assess parents for targeted risk factors. Parents seen by intervention residents responded favorably regarding interactions with their doctor.

Conclusions: The SEEK model helped residents become more comfortable and competent in screening for and addressing psychosocial risk factors. The benefits were sustained. Parents viewed the intervention doctors favorably. The model shows promise as a way of helping address major psychosocial problems in pediatric primary care.

Feigelman S, Dubowitz H, Lane W, Grube L, Kim J. Training pediatric residents in a primary care clinic to help address psychosocial problems and prevent child maltreatment. Acad Pediatr. 2011;11(6):474-480. PMID: 21959095. DOI: 10.1016/j.acap.2011.07.005.

Publication Year: 
2011
Resource Type: 
Peer Reviewed Research
Study Design: 
Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT)
Social Determinant of Health: 
Food/Hunger
Social Support/Social Isolation
Violence/Safety
Population: 
Children and Youth
Health Care Professionals
Outcomes: 
Process
Provider Experience of Care
Screening Research: 
No