The pair recently examined the Kids’ Inpatient Database, a sample of discharges from U.S. hospitals prepared every three years from 1997 to 2009 that includes ICD-9-CM diagnosis and external cause of injury codes. They found that cases of serious physical abuse of children younger than age 18 increased 4.9 percent. The incidence for children younger than age 1 increased 10.9 percent.
Another study published in Pediatrics found that abusive head trauma cases have increased significantly during the economic recession, possibly indicating a larger number of children with milder brain injuries who could present with psychiatric symptoms following a time of economic stress. Read more about that finding in Psychiatric News here.