JPHC CE: Medical Child Abuse: Essentials for Pediatric Health Care Providers

0.75 NAPNAP contact hour. This continuing education activity is offered free to NAPNAP members. For non-members, this continuing education activity rate is $10. Medical child abuse (MCA) is a rare but potentially deadly variant of child maltreatment. MCA results in unnecessary health care for a child because of a caregiver’s exaggeration, fabrication, or induction of physical and/or psychological symptoms of illness. These unnecessary health care interventions result in a morbidity rate of 100% in the form of complications and disabilities and a mortality rate as high as 9%. Although MCA is relatively rare, it is estimated that pediatric health care professionals, including pediatric nurse practitioners, will most likely encounter at least one MCA victim in the course of their career. This continuing education article will discuss MCA in terms of definition and features, epidemiology, perpetrators, variants in presentation, consequences, and implications for practice. J Pediatr Health Care. (2021) 35, 644−650

Important: This continuing education activity is FREE to NAPNAP Members. For non-members, this continuing education actvity rate is $10. You must be logged in to use your NAPNAP Member ID# and Password to be recognized as a Member of NAPNAP. If you are a current member of NAPNAP, and you are being asked to purchase this activity, please contact the NAPNAP National Office at (877) 662-7627 to request assistance prior to entering any information.

Participants are forbidden to reproduce, republish, redistribute, or resell this course in any other form. For copyright-related questions, please email your question to:

Copyright © 2021 by the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. 

This continuing education activity is administered by the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) as an Agency providing continuing education credit. Individuals who complete this program and earn a 70% or higher score on the post test will be awarded 0.75 NAPNAP contact hours of which 0.0 is pharmacology content.

Keywords: Medical child abuse, child maltreatment

Target Audience

Pediatric-focused advanced practice registered nurses

Learning Objectives

1. Define medical child abuse.

2. Discuss the epidemiology of medical child abuse.

3. Describe factors that should raise practitioner concerns for possible medical child abuse.

4. Discuss consequences of medical child abuse.

5. Discuss practice behaviors to enhance the identification of medical child abuse

Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 0.75 Contact hours
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Gail Hornor, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Center for Family Safety and Healing
Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Columbus, OH.

Conflicts of interest: None to report


Gail Hornor, DNP, CPNP, SANE-P,
Center for Family Safety and Healing
Nationwide Children’s Hospital
655 ELivingston Ave.
Columbus, OH 43205


Available Credit

  • 0.75 Contact hours


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