Background: Pediatric abusive head trauma (AHT), frequently seen in Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS), refers to brain injury resulting from a violent shaking of a child’s intracranial contents or skull, and these injuries are the most common cause of traumatic death in children under 2 years old. National studies indicate that SBS and AHT cause injuries to roughly 4,000 infants a year, and while many cases are unidentified, of known cases roughly 18-25% of babies who are shaken and hospitalized die, and approximately 80% of surviving infants suffer from significant neurological disabilities or lifelong cognitive and neurologic impairment.

Methods: A retrospective chart review in which156 nurses across 6 departments at St. Christopher’s Hospital participated in a three-step educational intervention designed by the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome. The intervention was designed to improve nurses’ knowledge and understanding of SBS/AHT through (1) pre-implementation testing, (2) SBS/AHT education through NCSBS training modules, and (3) Post-education knowledge evaluation and Hands-On Training. Differences in nurses’ knowledge before and after the intervention were assessed using independent samples t-tests run on SPSS 25 Software.

Results: Prior to the intervention, nurses (N = 156) scored an average of 8.31 out of 10 on the knowledge assessment. Following the intervention, nurses (N = 147) scored an average of 9.12 out of 10 on the knowledge assessment. Study results demonstrated a significant increase in nurses’ knowledge surrounding SBS/AHT after they received NCSBS training (t(301) = -5.12, p < .001, d = .37) (Figure 1). Of the 156 nurses included in the pre-test, 40% (N= 62) indicated that they had received SBS/AHT training in the past. Nurses who had received previous training (N = 62) scored an average of 8.81/10 on the pre-intervention knowledge assessment, as compared to an average of 8.00/10 for the nurses (N = 94). Additionally nurses who received prior SBS/AHT training had higher scores, demonstrating that there was a statistically significant increase in nurses’ knowledge after the educational intervention, even after an extended period of time (t(155) = 2.71, p = .008, d = .50) (Figure 2).

Conclusions: This study demonstrated that NCSBS training improved nurses’ education and understanding of SBS/AHT and increased their confidence instructing patients and caregivers about its associated dangers and risks. Future research should aim to assess caregiver’s increase in knowledge on the topic, with the goal of reducing rates of accidental SBS/AHT trauma in patients treated at St. Christopher’s.

IMAGE 1: Figure 1: Impact of Training Intervention on Nurse Education

IMAGE 2: Figure 2: Impact of Previous Training on Nurse Education