Knowledge, Attitude, and Practice Regarding Child Abuse and Neglect among Dental Practitioners
Keywords:Child abuse, child neglect, reporting, child maltreatment, knowledge.
Background: Child abuse and neglect (CAN) is a prevalent and growing public health problem. Dentists
are in a strategic position to identify and report cases of CAN as common signs of child abuse are in the
orofacial region. Proper knowledge and awareness are required for early identification and intervention to
prevent untoward consequences.
Methodology: A cross-sectional observational study using a predesigned three parts questionnaire was
conducted among general and specialty practitioners in branches of dentistry of Dakshina Kannada district,
Karnataka to assess the knowledge, awareness, and behavioral practice towards child abuse and neglect. The
data extracted were tabulated, statistically analyzed and results calculated based on percentages using SPSS.
Result: The participants in the current study demonstrated sufficient knowledge of the signs and symptoms
of child physical abuse, actions that should be taken in suspected cases, circumstances in which to report
such cases, and the legal authorities to which they should be reported. Most of the participants desired for
further training such as courses or workshops on examining, diagnosing, and reporting cases of child abuse.
Conclusion: - The study suggests that dental practitioners need an effective education to increase their
knowledge and awareness on CAN for its precocious identification and diagnosis as an assay for early
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