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Int J Adolesc Med Health. 2011 Dec 9;24(1):77-82. doi: 10.1515/ijamh.2012.011.

Working towards a detection of bullying related morbidity.

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Children's National Medical Center, Montgomery County Outpatient Center, Rockville, MD, USA.



Physicians are being confronted with the responsibility of detecting bullying related health and safety risks in different clinical settings.


Recommendations are being made on the basis of research evidence of a significant link of bullying with a wide array of health and safety problems; the author's clinical routine practice of ascertaining patients' participation in bullying and a recommended role for clinical detection of bullying within a whole-community base strategy for its prevention.


There is a need to develop a standardized strategy for detection of bullying related morbidity which could be utilized in all clinical settings with sensitivity to developmental and cultural differences in the understanding of what is meant by bullying. Such an approach should ascertain the exposure of different types of bullying across social settings and its symptomatic repercussions. Its results should be used for clinical decisions to procure intervention and treatment, within a three-tier bullying prevention strategy.


The present paper is the result of a work-in-progress which will contribute to efforts to develop a clinical practice guideline providing a standardized strategy for the detection and intervention of bullying related health and safety problems, within a primary or specialty pediatric setting. Bullying is at the intersection of many health and safety risks and health practitioners are challenged with the critical public health responsibility of their detection, prevention, and intervention. It would be expected that the recommendations contained in this article should facilitate the development of strategies to fulfill such a responsibility.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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