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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 38-46

Knowledge and attitudes toward child abuse and neglect among medical and dental undergraduate students and interns in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia


1 Department of Preventive Dental Sciences, College of Dentistry, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Dental Intern, College of Dentistry, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Atheer Aldaham
College of Dentistry, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijas.ijas_21_19

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Background: Child abuse and neglect (CAN) is a major problem around the world including Saudi Arabia. According to National Family Safety Program registry, most of cases of CAN in Saudi Arabia are detected in hospitals. Hence, healthcare professionals play an important role in identifying and reporting suspected cases of CAN. The purpose of the study is to assess knowledge and attitudes toward CAN among medical and dental undergraduate (UG) students and interns in Riyadh. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study distributed a self-administrated structured questionnaire to 351 medical and dental UG students and interns in different public and private medical and dental colleges in Riyadh. Participants were recruited using convenient sampling. The data were entered using IBM SPSS version 22 software. Descriptive statistics (frequency distribution), Chi-square test, and t-test were used to perform the statistical analysis. The significance level (P value) was set at <0.05. Results: About 57.5% of the participants reported having formal training on CAN during their UG study. Mean knowledge score related to CAN was 6.81 ± 1.17 for medical participants and 6.35 ± 1.35 for dental participants, and the difference was statistically significant (P = 0.001). Majority of the participants believed that the main barrier for not reporting a suspected case of CAN is the fear of consequences (medical = 82.4%, dental = 68.5%, P = 0.01). About 77% of the participants agreed to the need for further training in dealing with suspected cases of CAN. Conclusion: This study showed that dental participants had relatively less knowledge about the clinical presentation of CAN than medical participants. Improvements in the educational system are still needed to raise awareness about this issue. Inclusion of case scenarios and problem-based learning may help retain knowledge acquired during training. To increase awareness about the diagnosis and referral procedures, academic institutes should consider continuous educational courses and seminars.


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