Date of Conferral
Shaken baby syndrome (SBS) is one of the most violent forms of physical child abuse. In 2007, the State of Ohio enacted a health education mandate known as Claire's law. Claire's law requires all birthing hospitals to provide SBS education to mothers prior to their discharge. This law is the result of public demand and advocacy initiatives; however, it was not clear how the mandate was developed or whether or not the mandate and subsequent educational programs have had an impact on efforts to prevent SBS. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore the state of Ohio's processes involved in creating legislation to mandate SBS education. Data were collected through document reviews and interviews with SBS workgroup members (n = 5). The precede-proceed program planning model provided the conceptual framework to examine the participatory process involved in the development of the mandate from its beginning. The findings of the study showed that SBS workgroup members believed mandated education would affect SBS incidence and would ensure that mothers receive SBS education in Ohio hospitals during their birth experience. The findings also demonstrated a lack of a formal program planning methodology and no public inclusion in the development of the mandate or its required health education component. The state of Ohio has an additional means to ensure widespread education on SBS through the creation of this mandate. Statutory requirements provide opportunities for health professionals to educate the public on the effects of shaking a baby, resulting in a key implication for social change. Legislation focused on health education should be multifaceted and include varying layers of intervention.