Module 1: Child physical abuse and neglect
This module opens with the definition, prevalence and legislation of child maltreatment. The process of mandatory reporting is provided. The module includes clinical images of various trauma injuries include bruises, abrasions, burns and bites that relate to physical abuse. The module outlines the clinical process when physical abuse or neglect is displayed. Presenting features including risk factors of both guardians and the child are discussed. Factors that raise suspicion of abuse are outlined. Cutaneous injuries including bruising and burns are described and supported by clinical images. Differential diagnoses are considered including dermatological conditions. The consequences of abuse are considered. The module focuses on the role of the GP including presenting features, risks and the process of managing these clinical presentations including the involvement of paediatric forensic and support services.
Module 2: Child sexual abuse
This module commences with outlining sexual offences against children – this may depend on jurisdictions. Definitions, prevalence and legislation details are included. The male and female ano-genital anatomy is described. The process of forensic examinations for sexual assault are outlined, featuring a clinical case. The module focusses on the role of the GP and how a child may present. This includes features and signs to consider regarding the guardian’s characteristics and the child’s presenting profile. The process of managing these clinical presentations including aftercare are outlined. STIs, mental health and associated medical conditions are considered. The involvement of paediatric forensic and support services complete this module.
Module 3: Domestic abuse
This module reviews the definition and support mechanisms when patients present who are in a domestic abuse relationship. Statistics related to its prevalence and impact both worldwide and in Australia are listed. It discusses the role of general practitioners in responding, supporting and treating women who disclose experiences of domestic violence in a supportive, non-judgemental manner. The module covers signs and symptoms for identification of domestic violence including psychological and behavioural symptoms. Screening information is a key tool in addition to understanding reasons why a woman does not find it easy to leave an abusive relationship. Techniques to provide a safe environment and how to respond to disclosures including follow up care and responsibilities are addressed. Finally, this module gives advice about the most effective response to patient disclosure both immediately and as part of a long-term plan for follow up and continuing care, including information about available resources and support services.
Module 4: Elder abuse
This module opens with the definition and estimated prevalence of elder abuse. The ageing and healing processes of the skin and bones is detailed including images. The module outlines the physical signs of elder abuse and the possible causal factors for these injuries. Bruising injuries are discussed including differential diagnoses – for example, bleeding disorders and medications. Suspicious bruising, abrasions, lacerations and incisions are outlined and supported with clinical images. Bites, burns and fractures are also considered. The module then moves to self-harm, defensive and other injuries including sexual assault injuries. How to assess and avoid errors are discussed. The module discusses the GP role and includes why it’s easy to fail to diagnose this challenging area. Risk factors, signs and symptoms covering general, physical, sexual, emotional, economic and neglect are incorporated. Support services information complete this module.