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Mil Med. 2002 Nov;167(11):920-2.

Making prevention of abuse and neglect through dental awareness green.

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  • 1US Army Dental Command, Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234, USA.


Family violence encompasses child, spouse, and elder abuse and neglect and is viewed as a serious public health threat in our society. Unfortunately, abuse and neglect are commonplace in our society and are not limited to the civilian sector. The military community mirrors the civilian sector in the prevalence of abuse and neglect. Traditionally, identification and intervention of suspected cases of abuse and neglect was thought to be the role of the medical provider. Reports that up to 94% of family violence injuries have head and neck components, which is the very site that dental providers focus their attention, justifies the need for dental involvement. The U.S. Army Dental Command's Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Program's newest initiative is a family violence awareness program called Prevention of Abuse and Neglect through Dental Awareness (PA.N.D.A.). The program augments the Army Family Advocacy Program and gives dental-specific knowledge to our providers. The goals of this article are to describe the new program of the U.S. Army Dental Command that focuses on providing education and awareness to the dental community regarding family violence and to report the results of a survey that has been administered during the family violence training. More than 71% of individuals attending the P.A.N.D.A. training claimed to have previous training in family violence, whereas only 44% were knowledgeable about military regulations governing abuse and neglect.

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