New AAP research examines US pediatric residents' experience treating gun injuries

April 27, 2019

BALTIMORE - A new American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) study examines U.S. pediatric residents' experience during training in caring for children injured by guns, and their attitudes toward counseling families and public policies to address gun injury. Findings from the study will be presented during the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) 2019 Meeting, taking place on April 24 - May 1 in Baltimore.

"Recent, tragic increases in deaths of children, teens and young adults from suicide, urban violence and mass shootings have generated renewed concern among pediatricians regarding firearm violence," said Lynn Olson, PhD, one of the authors of the study. "What we found in this study, is that clinicians' experience treating gun injuries begins very early in their training."

The study found that by completion of residency, seven of 10 pediatricians have direct experience with gun injuries. While personal background and geographic region shape attitudes on best approaches to reduce gun violence, large majorities believe pediatricians have a role in counseling families and support policies aimed at reducing gun injury for children.

The results indicated 69% of residents report caring for gun injuries during training (median injuries=3). In their own background, 30% grew up in a home with a gun. In attitudes toward counseling, 90% agree (strongly agree or somewhat agree combined) pediatricians should ask about the presence of guns in the home, 96% agree pediatricians should ask parents to unload/lock guns; and 44% agree pediatricians should ask parents to remove guns from the home. In attitudes toward public policy, high portions agree with policies such as universal background checks (95%) or banning assault weapons (90%), while few, (14%), support allowing teachers to carry guns in K-12.

Data was drawn from the 2018 AAP Annual Survey of Graduating Residents, a random sample across all U.S. programs (response=49%; analytic sample=480). Respondents were asked if they cared for children injured by guns during training. Using a 5-point scale (strongly agree to strongly disagree), respondents also expressed their attitudes toward counseling by pediatricians (three items) and public policies that may reduce firearm injuries (six items). Chi-Square examined variations in attitudes by: experience treating gun injury, gender, region of residency training, and whether guns in their home growing up.

No attitude variations were found by whether the resident had treated gun injury. Few variations were found by gender. Support of public policies varied most by region of the country where trained and firearms in home growing up. For example, 98% in the Northeast, 93% in the West, 88% in the Midwest versus 80% in the South support banning assault weapons (p<.001); 93% of those who grew up without a gun in the home versus 81% of those who did, support banning assault weapons (p<.001).

Dr. Olson will present findings from "U.S. Pediatric Residents' Experience Treating Gun Injuries and Views on Approaches to Reduce Gun Injury" on Monday, April 29 at 4 p.m. EDT. Reporters interested in an interview with Dr. Olson should contact PAS2019@piercom.com. Please note that only the abstracts are being presented at the meeting. In some cases, the researchers may have additional data to share with media.

The PAS 2019 Meeting brings together thousands of pediatricians and other health care providers to improve the health and well-being of children worldwide. For more information about the PAS 2019 Meeting, please visit http://www.pas-meeting.org.
-end-
About the Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting

The Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) Meeting brings together thousands of pediatricians and other health care providers united by a common mission: to improve the health and well-being of children worldwide. This international gathering includes pediatric researchers, leaders in pediatric academics, clinical care providers and community practitioners. Presentations cover issues of interest to generalists as well as topics critical to a wide array of specialty and sub-specialty areas. The PAS Meeting will be the premier North American scholarly child health meeting. The PAS Meeting is produced through a partnership of four pediatric organizations that are leaders in the advancement of pediatric research and child advocacy: American Pediatric Society, Society for Pediatric Research, Academic Pediatric Association and American Academy of Pediatrics. For more information, please visit http://www.pas-meeting.org. Follow us on Twitter @PASMeeting and #PAS2019, and like us on Facebook.

Abstract: U.S. Pediatric Residents' Experience Treating Gun Injuries and Views on Approaches to Reduce Gun Injury

Background: Recent tragic instances of mass shootings and urban violence have generated renewed concern among pediatricians regarding firearm violence. Experience as a clinician with gun injuries begins in training.

Objective: Examine pediatric residents' experience during training in caring for children injured by guns, and attitudes toward 1) counseling families and 2) public policies to address gun injury.

Design/Methods: Data drawn from the 2018 AAP Annual Survey of Graduating Residents, a random sample across all U.S. programs (response=49%; analytic sample=480). Respondents were asked if they cared for children injured by guns during training. Using a 5-point scale (strongly agree to strongly disagree), respondents also expressed their attitudes toward counseling by pediatricians (three items) and public policies that may reduce firearm injuries (six items). Chi-Square examined variations in attitudes by: experience treating gun injury, gender, region of residency training, and whether guns in their home growing up.

Results: 69% of residents report caring for gun injuries during training (median injuries=3). In their own background 30% grew up in a home with a gun. In attitudes toward counseling (Figure 1): 90% agree (strongly agree or somewhat agree combined) pediatricians should ask about the presence of guns in the home, 96% agree pediatricians should ask parents to unload/lock guns; and 44% agree pediatricians should ask parents to remove guns from the home. In attitudes toward public policy (Figure 2) high portions agree with policies such as universal background checks (95%) or banning assault weapons (90%), while few, (14%), support allowing teachers to carry guns in K-12. No attitude variations were found by whether the resident had treated gun injury. Few variations were found by gender. Support of public policies varied most by region of the country where trained and firearms in home growing up. For example, 98% in the Northeast, 93% in the West, 88% in the Midwest versus 80% in the South support banning assault weapons (p<.001); 93% of those who grew up without a gun in the home versus 81% of those who did, support banning assault weapons (p<.001).

Conclusions: By completion of residency, seven of 10 pediatricians have direct experience with gun injuries. While personal background and geographic region shape attitudes on best approaches to reduce gun violence, large majorities believe pediatricians have a role in counseling families and support policies aimed at reducing gun injury for children.

Authors: Lynn Olson, Research, American Academy of Pediatrics; Mary Pat Frintner, American Academy of Pediatrics; Chloe Somberg, American Academy of Pediatrics

Pediatric Academic Societies

Related Children Articles from Brightsurf:

Black and Hispanic children in the US have more severe eczema than white children
A presentation at this year's virtual American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting reveals the disparities that exist for Black and Hispanic children when it comes to Atopic Dermatitis (AD), commonly known as eczema.

Black children with cancer three times less likely to receive proton radiotherapy than White children
A retrospective analysis led by investigators from Brigham and Women's Hospital has found racial disparities in the use of the therapy for patients enrolled in trials.

The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health: First Europe-wide study of children confirms COVID-19 predominately causes mild disease in children and fatalities are very rare
Children with COVID-19 generally experience a mild disease and fatalities are very rare, according to a study of 582 patients from across Europe published today in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health journal.

Children not immune to coronavirus; new study from pandemic epicenter describes severe COVID-19 response in children
- While most children infected with the novel coronavirus have mild symptoms, a subset requires hospitalization and a small number require intensive care.

How many children is enough?
Most Russians would like to have two children: a boy and a girl.

Preterm children have similar temperament to children who were institutionally deprived
A child's temperament is affected by the early stages of their life.

Only-children more likely to be obese than children with siblings
Families with multiple children tend to make more healthy eating decisions than families with a single child.

Children living in countryside outperform children living in metropolitan area in motor skills
Residential density is related to children's motor skills, engagement in outdoor play and organised sports. that Finnish children living in the countryside spent more time outdoors and had better motor skills than their age peers in the metropolitan area.

Hispanic and black children more likely to miss school due to eczema than white children
In a study that highlights racial disparities in the everyday impact of eczema, new research shows Hispanic and black children are more likely than white children to miss school due to the chronic skin disease.

Children, their parents, and health professionals often underestimate children's higher weight status
More than half of parents underestimated their children's classification as overweight or obese -- children themselves and health professionals also share this misperception, according to new research being presented at this year's European Congress on Obesity (ECO) in Glasgow, UK (April 28-May 1).

Read More: Children News and Children Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.