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Assessment of dental practitioner’s knowledge and attitude towards child physical abuse in qassim region, Saudi arabia

Author: 
Dr. Amal Almutiry and Dr. Khadiga H Osman
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Background: Child abuse and neglect are significant problems worldwide. In Saudi Arabia, reported cases are increasing. In 2011, 616 child abuse and neglect cases were registered .This is in comparison with 80 registered cases in 2010. In 2009 and 2008, 73 cases and 65 cases respectively were registered. Therefore, our study was established to assess the level of knowledge and attitudes of dental practitioners regarding child abuse. Research Objectives: To assess the knowledge and attitude of dental practitioners regarding child abuse. To identify the barriers in reporting the cases of child abuse and neglect. To assess the need for training dentists in detection of child abuse and neglect. Research Methodology: With prior consent, a 20-question survey including both multiple choice and dichotomous (Yes/No) questions was mailed to dentists, and the data collected were subjected to statistical analysis. Results: Lack of knowledge about dentist role in reporting was identified as the major barrier in reporting [31.7%] in the reasons for hesitancy to report. Pearson chi-square test show significant difference between male and female regarding reason for hesitancy to report. There is a no significant difference between male and female regarding legal obligation of dentists to report child abused cases. Conclusion: Although respondent dentists were aware of the diagnosis of child abuse, they were hesitant and unaware of the appropriate authority to report .This issue should be covered and emphasized in dental schools’ curricula, and healthcare and academic institutes must have a clear protocol to be followed if a case of abuse is suspected.

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