Norwegian version

Public health nurse’s in Child and Family Health Centres work to prevent and detect child maltreatment

This project initially aims to investigate attitudes and knowledge and current practices among Norwegian PHNs in CFHC to prevent and detect child maltreatment.

Child maltreatment is a global concern, particularly among Norwegian adolescents and in Europe. Rates of parental physical and adult-perpetrated sexual abuse are worrisome in these regions.

Age plays a role, with sexual abuse more prevalent in adolescence and fatal physical abuse higher in infants. Early experiences significantly impact brain development, making preventive measures like home visits essential.

To address this, our project will examine Norwegian Public Health Nurses' attitudes, knowledge, and practices through qualitative interviews and a comprehensive national survey consisting of 128 questions across five sections.

This research will inform future articles on various aspects of child maltreatment in Norway.

  • Participants

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  • More about the project

    Child maltreatment is a global issue with profound consequences for children, families, and society. It is associated with increased risks of mental illness, cognitive impairment, substance abuse, criminal behavior, poor physical health, and premature death among affected children.

    Child maltreatment encompasses various forms of abuse and neglect, as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO).
    Prevalence rates of child maltreatment vary, with estimates indicating significant occurrences in Europe, including Norway.

    A study among Norwegian adolescents revealed concerning rates of parental physical abuse and adult-perpetrated sexual abuse.

    The risk of different forms of child maltreatment varies with a child's age, with sexual abuse more prevalent during adolescence and fatal physical abuse posing a higher risk to infants. Early experiences significantly influence brain development and overall well-being.

    Preventive measures, such as home visits and parental support, have been effective in mitigating child maltreatment. Interdisciplinary collaboration is also recommended for enhanced prevention and detection efforts.

    In Norway, Public Health Nurses (PHNs) play a crucial role in child health assessments and are well-positioned to identify and prevent child maltreatment.

    However, the role of PHNs in detecting and preventing child maltreatment has had a limited focus, and to our knowledge, there is no clear data on how PHNs in Norway interpret or follow the guidelines for child maltreatment.


    The overarching objective is to enhance PHNs ability to identify and refer cases of children experiencing child maltreatment, thus improving children's health and quality of life.

    This project initially aims to investigate attitudes and knowledge and current practices among Norwegian PHNs. 


    We plan to conduct a mixed method approach using both qualitative and quantitative methods.

    The result of these studies will lay a foundation for a future intervention study that aims to tailor a more targeted and improved education for PHN’s and improve services in CFHC.

    The ultimate aim of the study is to increase the detection of child maltreatment, increase the number of early referrals and improve health for children.