Reducing consequences of child maltreatment during adulthood by public health actions : a Delphi study

Child maltreatment (CM) is associated with long-lasting poor health outcomes, as well as increased levels of disability and health-services consumption across the life-span. However, less is known about how CM consequences can be reduced during adulthood. We investigated professional opinions on how to mitigate long-term consequences of CM in a public health (PH) perspective.


Using the Delphi method in three rounds, we inquired 91 professionals, mostly European researchers and clinicians about potential PH actions to mitigate CM consequences during adulthood.


Most experts agreed that PH actions are needed. Increasing community awareness and training emotional regulation in affected adults were prioritized strategies. Enlarging curricular knowledge about CM for professionals and developing evidence-based interventions were considered preferred methods. Reducing the barriers for access to interventions for adults, such as those provided by trauma-informed services were also suggested. Participants highlighted the possibility to reduce CM consequences across generations as a significant benefit.


PH programmes to reduce the burden of CM can be enhanced by specific actions to facilitate the recognition of difficulties in affected adults and to expand the availability of helpful resources. The application of these programmes could be assisted by the use of modern information-technology.

Aida Dias, Trudy Mooren, Rolf J Kleber | 2018
In: European Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1101-1262 ; eISSN 1464-360X | 29 | 3 | June | 425–431
Accessibility, Adults, Awareness, Child Abuse, Emotional Regulation, Health Care Policy, Intergenerational Effects, Interventions, Psychoeducation, Treatment