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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 51-54

Knowledge, attitudes, and professional responsibilities among southern indian dental residents regarding child abuse: A cross-sectional survey

Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Narayana Dental College and Hospital, Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sreekanth Kumar Mallineni
Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Narayana Dental College and Hospital, Nellore, Andhra Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijfo.ijfo_12_17

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Aim: This study aims to assess the knowledge and attitudes about indicators, legal issues, professional responsibilities, and reporting mechanisms toward child abuse among South Indian dental residents. Methods: A self-administered structured questionnaire comprising of 15 questions, was distributed to 170 dental residents belonging to three private dental teaching institutions in South India. The data collected was descriptively analyzed using Pearson Chi-square test. Results: A total of 158 dental residents responded to the distributed questionnaires, with a response rate of 93%. Among them, 55% were females (n = 87) and the males were 45% (n = 71), with majority of the participants (n = 82) above 23 years of age (52%). Greater part of respondents (95%) in this study has the knowledge about the indicators of child abuse; 13% suspected a case of child abuse although only 62% of them had reported the incident. Most of the dental residents (85%) knew about legal issues and professional responsibilities but knowledge related to the reporting mechanisms was lacking. Almost 85% desired further training on the identification and reporting mechanisms for suspicious cases of child physical abuse. Conclusion: Knowledge on the indicators of child abuse is inadequate among the dental residents, and most of them did not recognize or report a case. The reasons might be due to limitations in lecture-based learning which was not practiced in clinical settings. Therefore, more comprehensive education on the topic of child abuse including recognizing and reporting procedures should be reinforced in clinical settings.

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