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Child Abuse Negl. 2003 Oct;27(10):1161-78.

Pediatricians' knowledge, attitudes and experience regarding child maltreatment in Kuwait.

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Department of Community Medicine, Health Sciences Center, Kuwait University, Kuwait.



This cross-sectional survey was conducted to evaluate the awareness and actual professional experience of pediatricians in Kuwait regarding child maltreatment, a topic rarely explored in this part of the world.


Data were obtained from all pediatricians in public hospitals with pediatric emergency services using a structured detailed self-completed questionnaire.


The experience of child neglect was more common than that of child abuse in the clinical practice of surveyed pediatricians. Fifty percent of 117 pediatricians (69% of all eligible) reported having encountered at least 1 case of abuse and up to 3 cases of neglect in the past year. Women and younger doctors more commonly recognized hypothetical situations as maltreatment, and believed child abuse and neglect as being common or very common in Kuwait. Other demographic or professional variables did not affect recognition of maltreatment. Participants would most likely alert social workers about suspected maltreatment cases. More than 80% did not know whether there is a legal obligation to report or which legal authorities should receive reports of suspected cases.


National ethical guidelines regarding reporting suspected cases of maltreatment must be established. Laws protecting maltreated children and reporting physicians must be immediately enacted. Additional training is required to help pediatricians, especially expatriates from other cultures, to diagnose with certainty cases of child maltreatment in their practice in Kuwait.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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