Knowledge and Attitudes toward Child Abuse and Neglect (CAN) among Dental and Medical Practitioners in Saudi Arabia
Author(s): Roaa Merwass*, Khalid Aboalshamat, Fatmh Bashkail, Ahad Alsolami, Rahaf Alqadi, Bushra Al-Motairi and Rawan Alamoudi
Introduction: Child abuse and neglect (CAN) is a serious and an increasing global problem. Aim: Our study aims to assess the knowledge and attitudes toward child abuse and neglect (CAN) among dental and medical practitioners in Saudi Arabia. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among 371 participants recruited from medical and dental students, interns, and practitioners in Saudi Arabia. The data were collected using an online self-administrated questionnaire to measure the CAN level of knowledge, social indicators, attitudes, and barriers. Descriptive statistics included the mean, standard deviation, count, and percentage. Chi-square and t-tests were used for the data analysis. Results: The mean total score of knowledge was 7.51 ± 1.68 points. A range of 93.8% to 56.6% of the participants recognized the social indicators of CAN. Females (7.86 ± 1.29) and health practitioners in the governmental sector (7.65 ± 1.68) reported a higher level of CAN knowledge than males (7.044 ± 2, P?0.001) and those in the private sector (7.20 ± 1.62, P=0.015). A total of 41.51% had previous CAN training, but only 10.24% had experience reporting a CAN incident. A total of 65.2% believed that further training was needed to deal with CAN. The majority (72.5%) believed that uncertainty was the prime cause of not reporting CAN. Conclusion: Most participants demonstrated a high level of knowledge regarding the clinical presentation of CAN. Also, the majority of the participants recognized the social indicators for CAN and believed that they needed further CAN training. It is recommended that health educational entities and hospitals provide additional CAN sessions and training.