Sunday, January 11, 2009

New Jersey - Good (but not as good as it could be) News about Hospital Education

Newsday reports the New Jersey legislature will consider legislation on Thursday (Jan. 15, 2009) that includes distribution of "literature" to new parents about SBS before they leave the hospital.

Good news that they're taking that step, but as long as New Jersey is going to ask hospitals to deliver information, why not do it effectively and efficiently?

A recent study reported that video education is more effective, overall (and see more resources listed at the bottom of this page).

Moreover, if the legislature is seeking to adddress inequities, it would be ironic to rely upon written literature, which has to overcome the problems of lower rates of general literacy and health literacy, language barriers and culturally competent communications (the proposed NJ legislation would also require that someone at the hospital discuss the information with parents before the baby is discharged: that's good - if it happens).

Hospitals in New York, such as Vassar Brothers Medical Center, have included SBS education as a routine part of patient discharge - after the parents have had the opportunity to watch an educational video. The video provides a standard message and illustrates behavior in ways that a brochure can't do.

Shaken baby education is an opportunity to educate parents about how they can help protect their child. But add those barriers to the overall problem of framing messages to avoid the "child abuse" stigma, and the likelihood is that written education will likely perpetuate those inequities.

NJ Assembly takes up inequities in prenatal care
By ANGELA DELLI SANTI | Associated Press Writer
January 11, 2009

TRENTON, N.J. - Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver wants to see more young, pregnant minority women get the prenatal care they need.

Backed by a state Department of Health and Senior Services study highlighting serious disparities among the quality of care for women with unplanned pregnancies, Oliver, D-East Orange, is planning a Thursday hearing on ways to improve the inequities.

"New Jersey is too good to rank near the bottom when it comes to the state of health care for expectant mothers and their children," said Oliver, who chairs the Assembly Human Services Committee.  Health and Senior Services Commissioner Heather Howard is slated to talk about the state's prenatal care awareness campaign during the hearing.

Also slated to be on tap during Thursday's Assembly session are two bills arming caretakers with information that protects children.

Legislation sponsored by Democrats Nelson Albano and Matthew Milam of Cape May Court House, and Ruben Ramos Jr. of Hoboken protects children from tip-over accidents involving furniture and television sets.

Another bill likely to be up for consideration Thursday requires information on shaken baby syndrome to be delivered to parents of newborns.

That legislation,
sponsored by Democrats Lou Greenwald of Voorhees, and Doug Fisher of Bridgeton, requires literature on the topic to be distributed in the resource guide on child abuse that is given to new parents. It also requires someone at the hospital or birthing center to discuss the information before discharge.


Child Abuse Negl. 2008 Oct;32(10):949-57.
Intervention type matters in primary prevention of abusive head injury: event history analysis results.
Russell BS

MCN Am J Matern Child Nurs. 2008 Nov-Dec;33(6):371-5.
Shaken baby syndrome education program: nurses making a difference
Smith KM

W V Med J. 2008 Nov-Dec;104(6):22-3.
Testing educational strategies for Shaken Baby Syndrome.
Bailey M

J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2008 Dec;29(6):508-11
Getting the word out: advice on crying and colic in popular parenting magazines.
Catherine NL

Child Abuse Negl. 2008 Nov;32(11):1017-25.
Secondary analysis of the "Love Me...Never Shake Me" SBS education program.
Deyo G

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