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Revista Clínica de Medicina de Familia

On-line version ISSN 2386-8201Print version ISSN 1699-695X


ARRIETA VERGARA, Katherine M.; DIAZ CARDENAS, Shyrley  and  GONZALEZ MARTINEZ, Farith. Child abuse: knowledge, attitudes and practices of dental students in Cartagena, Colombia. Rev Clin Med Fam [online]. 2014, vol.7, n.2, pp.103-111. ISSN 2386-8201.

Objetive: to describe the knowledge, attitudes and practices in dental students at the Cartagena state university, Colombia regarding child abuse. Study design: descriptive study. Location: Cartagena state university, Colombia. Participants: 208 dental students from Cartagena (Colombia), selected through probability sampling. Main analysed data: a self-reporting anonymous structured questionnaire-type instrument was designed and used to evaluate socio-demographic variables, knowledge (related to physical abuse, sexual abuse, negligence, psychological abuse, signs of child abuse and responsibilities), attitudes, practices and prevalence of possible suspicion of cases of child abuse detected in dental practice). The data were analysed through frequency distributions and proportions. In order to determine relationships between suspicion of child abuse and some variables of interest, test χ2 was used, assuming a limit of 0.05 for significance. Results: current prevalence of suspected cases of child abuse was 2.4% and that of it occurring at sometime, 20%. Knowledge was good for 54.3% of the subjects and acceptable for 44.7%; favourable attitudes, 96.1%. Of 42 students who had some kind of suspicion during their practice, 15 stated that their first action was to report it to their teacher, followed by telling a classmate and keeping quiet. Three quarters of those who stated they had suspected abuse did not enter it in the clinical record. Conclusions: the prevalence of possible cases of child abuse identified by dental students was high; their knowledge and attitudes were appropriate. However, there is incongruence in reported practices; for this reason, it is necessary to carry out training on the subject to provide the student with greater certainty on identifying and reporting possible cases of child abuse from the position of dental practice.

Keywords : Students, Dental; Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice; Child abuse.

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