Turkish paediatric dentists’ knowledge, experiences and attitudes regarding child physical abuse

Özgür N., BALLIKAYA E., Güngör H. C., ATAÇ A. S.

International Dental Journal, vol.70, no.2, pp.145-151, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 70 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/idj.12532
  • Journal Name: International Dental Journal
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.145-151
  • Keywords: Child physical abuse, paediatric dentists, dental trauma, DENTAL PROFESSIONALS, MALTREATMENT, PROTECTION, PREVALENCE, VIOLENCE
  • Lokman Hekim University Affiliated: No


© 2019 FDI World Dental FederationObjectives: Numerous studies have shown that the education of health professionals is essential to effectively respond to child abuse. The present study aimed to evaluate Turkish paediatric dentists' knowledge, experiences and attitudes regarding child physical abuse. Materials and methods: An electronic questionnaire was e-mailed to 518 paediatric dentists. Participants’ knowledge of diagnostic indicators of child physical abuse, and their past experiences, attitudes and self-assessment of educational needs were evaluated. Results: The response rate was 40.9% (n = 212). Participants who completed their undergraduate education before 1997 received significantly less education on child physical abuse than participants who completed their education more recently (P < 0.001). Although statistically insignificant, participants who completed their doctorate/specialty training after 2012 received increased education on child physical abuse (P = 0.06). Of the participants, 43.9% suspected physical abuse; however, only 12.7% reported it. ‘I did not know where and how to report’ was the most common reason for not reporting physical abuse. The rate of suspicion was higher among dentists from state hospitals or oral health centres (P < 0.05). Of the participants, 70.3% did not know about the legal sanctions for delay in or not reporting suspected cases. Only 15.6% assessed themselves as competent to diagnose and report physical abuse. Almost all of them acknowledged their need for more education on this topic. Conclusion: Turkish paediatric dentists’ educational needs for diagnosing and reporting of child physical abuse cases should be met.