Knowledge, awareness and attitude of dental professionals regarding child maltreatment
Keywords:Abuse, Awareness, Child maltreatment, Dental professionals, Knowledge, Neglect
Background: Dental professionals could play a significant role in identifying, documenting and reporting child maltreatment to appropriate authorities as children are exposed to various maltreatments that can present in the head and neck region.
Aim: The aim of this paper is to assess the level of knowledge, awareness and attitude among dental professionals regarding child maltreatment and to identify the barriers that prevent reporting suspected maltreatment.
Methodology: The present cross–sectional questionnaire–based study was conducted on dental professionals practising in India by emailing a self-structured questionnaire to assess knowledge, awareness and attitude regarding child maltreatment.
Results: 422 dental professionals participated in the survey of which 270 were females. A significant difference was observed in mean knowledge (p=.015), awareness (p=.014) score of the participants with regard to place of work and mean knowledge score (p=.024) of the participants with regard to educational qualification. 300 participants reported that lack of adequate knowledge and awareness about the role of dental professionals regarding child maltreatment is one of the major barriers that prevent reporting child maltreatment.
Conclusion: Findings of the study showed that 43.8% of participants had good knowledge and 44.8% were fairly aware regarding child maltreatment. 86.7% of participants showed a very good attitude towards learning more about the role of dental professionals in the management of child maltreatment.