Pediatric resident firearm-related anticipatory guidance: Why are we still not talking about guns?

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Pediatric resident firearm-related anticipatory guidance: Why are we still not talking about guns?

Category: Youth|Journal: Preventive Medicine (full text)|Author: C Crifasi, K Hoops|Year: 2019

Highlights

Pediatric resident physicians rarely provide counseling on firearm safety.
Lack of familiarity with firearms is a barrier to physicians counseling on gun safety.
Physicians urgently need education on firearm safety.

Abstract

This study characterizes the current firearm-related anticipatory guidance practices of pediatricians-in-training and the factors affecting those practices. In this study of Pediatric residents in the Mid-Atlantic region, surveys were distributed to 189 trainees at three hospitals. Eighty-one responses were collected between June 2017 and March 2018. The survey gathered information about the residents’ values related to firearms, firearm-specific counseling practices, barriers to providing counseling, and educational needs related to firearms. The residents surveyed overwhelmingly agreed (96%) that physicians have a responsibility to counsel patients on the risks posed by firearms. However, most (63%) never provide firearm-related counseling or do so in only 1–5% of well-child visits. Their unfamiliarity with safe storage devices contributes to a lack of comfort providing counseling. For pediatricians to provide potentially lifesaving counseling on firearm safety, they must be well-versed in the subject and feel comfortable and confident in doing so. Educational interventions addressing physician self-efficacy are necessary to accomplish this. There is an urgent need to develop a comprehensive firearm safety education program for physicians and trainees to improve firearm counseling.

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