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Ann Med Surg (Lond). 2017 Feb 21;16:7-13. doi: 10.1016/j.amsu.2017.02.008. eCollection 2017 Apr.

Child maltreatment between knowledge, attitude and beliefs among Saudi pediatricians, pediatric residency trainees and medical students.

Author information

1
General Pediatrics, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; British Columbia Children Hospital, British Columbia University, Vancouver, Canada.
2
General Pediatrics, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
3
King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Child maltreatment is not included in Saudi medical schools and pediatric residency curriculums, which might limit knowledge and spread misconceptions. Additionally, physicians might have different attitudes regarding reporting child abuse and neglect. In this study, we hypothesize that medical students and pediatric trainees have limited knowledge, oblivious attitude and misbeliefs regarding child maltreatment in comparison to experienced pediatricians. But, medical students and trainees might hold higher motives and willingness to learn about child maltreatment and their consequences.

METHODS:

A self reported questionnaire was distributed after a pilot study to include pediatricians, pediatrics trainees and medical students in all main areas of pediatrics services: pediatrics wards, pediatrics outpatient clinics, critical care and pediatrics emergency.

RESULTS:

In disregard to their level of training, medical students and physicians believed that child maltreatment happens within the kingdom and is common. They were familiar with the child maltreatment definition, although only one third thought it is subject to culture sensitivity. However, experienced physicians were more knowledgeable especially about neglect. Moreover, female participants were more likely to report despite being more skeptical of readiness of Saudi law system to deal with cases of maltreatment. In general, knowledge about reporting was clearly deficit at all levels. Fortunately, all participants requested and were enthusiastic to receive further training.

CONCLUSION:

Saudi medical students, pediatrics trainees and pediatricians have good basic knowledge, positive attitude and willingness to learn more to provide a safe environment for children in Saudi Arabia. However, knowledge in regards to reporting child maltreatment is a major observed defect. Still, further education and training are needed to combat CAN in Saudi Arabia.

KEYWORDS:

Child abuse and neglect; Experienced physicians; Medical students; Residency trainee

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