Prevention of Abusive Head Trauma: A Literature Review
Bethany Stoll and Judy K. Anderson
Abusive head trauma, formerly known as shaken baby syndrome, is a condition with physical, psychosocial, and fiscal implications presenting opportunities for nurses to intervene with prevention strategies. This integrative review of the literature explored the empirical evidence to identify prevention strategies effective in decreasing abusive head trauma. Education, medical, and nursing databases yielded 14 quality research studies providing the basis for the review. Multiple facets of prevention strategies were identified with patterns in the literature of community involvement, early detection and involvement by health professionals, and parental education programming. A five-component model of prevention strategies is proposed to provide nurses with a comprehensive approach to the issue. These components consist of a) completion of personal inventory, b) involvement in multi-modal parental education, c) commitment to a prevention program, d) participation of the family and community, and e) connection to a spiritual element. Through these components, it is hoped there is enhancement of the quality of life for parents and infants, and a discouragement of situations that increase the risk of infant injury.