Journal of Forensic Dental Sciences
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 24-30

Child maltreatment: Cross-sectional survey of general dentists

1 Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Kothiwal Dental College and Research Centre, Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, India
2 Triveni College of Dental Sciences and Hospital, Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, India
3 TMMCRC, Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
4 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Faculty of Dental Sciences, SGT University, Gurgaon, Haryana, India
5 Department of orthodontics, Rama Dental College, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Harsimran Kaur
Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Kothiwal Dental College and Research Centre, Moradabad - - 244 001, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfo.jfds_6_15

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Background: Child abuse continues to be a social menace causing both physical and emotional trauma to benevolent children. Census has shown that nearly 50–75% of child abuse include trauma to mouth, face, and head. Thus, dental professionals are in a strategic position to identify physical and emotional manifestations of abuse. Aim: A cross-sectional survey was conducted to assess knowledge and attitude of dental professionals on the exigent issue of child abuse. Methodology: With prior consent, a 20-question survey including both multiple choice and dichotomous (yes/no) questions was mailed to 120 state-registered general dentists and the data collected were subjected to statistical analysis. Statistical Analysis: The overall response rate to the questionnaires was 97%. Lack of knowledge about dentist role in reporting child abuse accounted to 55% in the reasons for hesitancy to report. Pearson's Chi-square test did not show any significant difference between male and female regarding the reason for hesitancy to report and legal obligation of dentists. Results: Although respondent dentists were aware of the diagnosis of child abuse, they were hesitant and unaware of the appropriate authority to report. Conclusion: Increased instruction in the areas of recognition and reporting of child abuse and neglect should be emphasized.

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