Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Julianne Ossege

Clinical Mentor

Dr. Judith Daniels

Committee Member

Dr. Kathy Wheeler


Background: Child maltreatment can affect any race, economic status, gender, and age. Primary care providers have contact with children and their caretakers daily and develop bonds that encourage open communication. Screening for child maltreatment risk factors can help discover those in danger and decrease abuse rates. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine provider’s knowledge of child maltreatment risk factors and assess screening and documentation practices. Methods: This was a descriptive study that included an electronic survey to primary care providers to assess current knowledge and practices for child maltreatment risk factors. Second, a retrospective chart review was done to assess providers’ documentation of risk factors. Results: Seventy-eight percent of provider’s surveyed screen for child maltreatment risk factors at all visits and with parents in the room. Providers surveyed do not feel Kentucky and Indiana have enough resources available to prevent child maltreatment. Providers are fearful to ask difficult questions to caregivers about substance abuse and domestic violence in the home but did not agree as to whether they needed more training on substance abuse or domestic violence. Conclusion: Providers are knowledgeable when it comes to child maltreatment risk factors. To adequately screen for child maltreatment risk factors, providers must ask specific key questions of patients and their caregivers. Using a standardized set of questions can ensure that all providers in the organization are screening the same.