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Int J Paediatr Dent. 1999 Sep;9(3):153-9.

Child protection: a survey of experience and knowledge within the dental profession of New South Wales, Australia.

Author information

1
Department of Paediatric Dentistry, University of Sydney, Westmead Hospital Dental Clinical School, Australia.

Abstract

AIM:

To establish the experience and knowledge of dental practitioners in New South Wales, Australia in the area of child abuse and protection.

DESIGN:

A cross-sectional telephone questionnaire.

SAMPLE:

One hundred and twenty-two interviews; 67 general dental practitioners randomly selected and 55 members of the Australia and New Zealand Society of Paediatric Dentistry.

RESULTS:

All of the dentists interviewed could identify physical abuse and most identified emotional abuse, however, none could describe all five forms of abuse. Significantly more (58%) members of the paediatric dental society had at some time suspected abuse, compared with only 24% of the general practitioners. However, only 20 of the paediatric dentists and seven general practitioners had actually reported any cases. The main reason given for not reporting concerned confidentiality. Seventy-two per cent of general practitioners did not know their legal obligations or with whom they could discuss any concerns. While paediatric dentists achieved a better percentage, still over half of them were similarly unsure.

CONCLUSIONS:

Further education and training is required for both the dental profession and the child protection agencies to improve the inter-agency working relationship and thus provide better protection for children.

PMID:
10815571
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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