Prevalence of recognition and reporting of child physical abuse by dental surgeons and associated factors

Prevalência de identificação e notificação de abuso físico infantil por dentistas e fatores associados

Laís Soares Nunes Fernando Silva-Oliveira Flávio Freitas Mattos Fernanda Bartolomeo Freire Maia Efigenia Ferreira e Ferreira Patrícia Maria Pereira de Araújo Zarzar About the authors


Studies evaluating the factors associated with under reporting and with the recognition and reporting of child physical abuse are scarce and highly necessary. This study aimed to assess the prevalence of recognition and reporting of child physical abuse (CPA) by Brazilian dentistsin primary care and associated factors. A cross-sectional study was carried out with a representative sample of dentistsfrom the Family Health Strategy in Belo Horizonte. A self-administered questionnaire validated to Brazilian Portuguesewas used for data collection. Statistical analysis included univariate and multiple analyses through Poisson regression. A total of 181dentists participated in the study. Among them, 73 (40.3%) had already recognized some cases of CPA, but only 11 (6.1%) ended up reporting. Dentists with six to 19 years of experience as a municipal worker presented 2.38 times [PR = 2.38 (95%CI: 1.29-4.41)] more probability to recognize cases of CPA than the ones with less than six years. Having a graduate degree with a major in childcare [PR = 4.50 (95%CI: 1.08-18.68)] was associated with a larger number of reports. The employment duration as municipal worker was positively associated with the recognition of CPA cases and the prevalence of reporting was low.

Key words:
Child abuse; Mandatory reporting; Family Health Strategy; Violence; Dentists

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