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Keywords:

  • Adult;
  • child maltreatment;
  • nursing and psychiatry

Purpose

To determine what is known from the literature about nursing care of psychiatric patients with a history of child maltreatment.

Conclusions

Psychiatric nurses underline the importance of a routine inquiry of child abuse on admission of patients to psychiatric care, but are reluctant to ask about child abuse. They often feel insufficiently competent to respond effectively to patients with a history of child maltreatment.

Practice Implications

Psychiatric nurses need training in how to assess a history of child abuse and the late-life consequences of abuse in adult psychiatric patients. They also need to be trained to respond effectively to these patients.