First Advisor

Cullen, Patricia L.

Second Advisor

Ernst, Diane


Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice


Loretto Heights School of Nursing

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

56 pages


An Intervention to Increase Identification of Families at High Risk for Child Maltreatment in a Military Community
According to Gibbs, Martin, Clinton-Sherrod, Walters, and Johnson (2011), child maltreatment in the military community has become a significant issue. Initial interaction and assessment of expectant and post-partum mothers takes place in the labor and delivery and mother-baby units at a hospital in a western state where families at high risk for child maltreatment are initially identified. Current methods of recognizing high risk families include visual assessment of parent-child bonding, family dynamics, and involvement of the father. However, these methods have proven to be ineffective in adequately identifying families at risk for child maltreatment prior to incident. The PICO (problem, intervention, comparison, and outcome) problem statement associated with this capstone project is: In (P) registered nurses in a labor and delivery and mother-baby expectant and post-partum care units of a military hospital (I) will an evidence-based, educational intervention related to child maltreatment prevention and administration and interpretation of the Abbreviated Family Needs Screener (AFNS), (C) when compared with no formal educational intervention, result in (O) enhanced knowledge of administering and interpreting the Abbreviated Family Needs Screener and understanding of child maltreatment prevention methods to include referral of families at risk for child maltreatment?
This Capstone project served to provide an education program for registered nurses caring for expectant and post-partum mothers on the use and administration of the abbreviated Family Needs Screener screening instrument, and to examine the impact of the program on nursing knowledge and competency related to child maltreatment prevention.
The goal of this project was to measure the efficacy of the educational intervention in aiding nurses to administer the Abbreviated Family Needs Screener as well as develop and maintain knowledge regarding child maltreatment prevention. Objectives Project objectives include: developing the Abbreviated Family Needs Screener, designing and implementing an educational intervention to educate staff on the administration and interpretation of the abbreviated needs screener and determining if the educational intervention had a statistically significant effect on nursing knowledge regarding methods of child maltreatment prevention as well as administration and interpretation of the Abbreviated Family Needs Screener.
After an extensive literature review was conducted, it was determined that risk assessments which identify risk factors for child maltreatment had been proven to be effective in child maltreatment prevention. An abbreviated families at risk for child maltreatment assessment tool, which derived from the 57 question United States Army Community Service New Parent Support Program Family Needs Screener used by the New Parent Support Program, was then created. The instrument identified risk factors for child maltreatment. Based on this instrument, an educational program was designed for registered nurses. Following approval from the Institutional Review Board at Regis University, the project was implemented including an educational session pre and post-test. A pre- and post-test was coded, information was entered into spreadsheets and Excel was utilized to process the data.
Outcomes and Results
Twenty (20) participants completed both the pre- and post-test intervention. A statistically significant improvement (p<0.05)- in mean knowledge scores was identified. It was determined that the knowledge of the nurses regarding administering and interpreting the Abbreviated Family Needs Screener and understanding methods of preventing child maltreatment significantly improved after undergoing the education program designed.

Date of Award

Fall 2015

Location (Creation)

Denver, Colorado

Rights Statement

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