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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 12  |  Page : 1766-1772

Family physicians in an Eastern Turkish City need training on child abuse and neglect: A cross-sectional study

1 Department of Public Health, Atatürk University Medical Faculty, Erzurum, Turkey
2 Menemen Family Health Center, Izmir, Turkey
3 Institute of Family Medicine and Health Research, Munich Technical University, Germany

Correspondence Address:
Prof. E O Calikoglu
Atatürk University Medical Faculty, Department of Public Health, 25240 Erzurum
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/njcp.njcp_678_20

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Aim: The study's purpose was to determine the knowledge, competencies, and approaches of family physicians in recognizing the signs of child neglect and abuse. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted between 1 March and 30 August 2019 in the Erzurum province in Turkey. The population of the study was family physicians working in primary care. The data were collected with an instrument that included the Scale of Diagnosing the Symptoms and Risks of Child Abuse and Neglect (SDRCAN) and a socio-demographic information form. Results: The mean age was 37.40 ± 8.78 years (min. 26, max. 60). Of the participants, 103 (n = 58.5%) were men. The most common types of encountered child abuse/neglect were physical abuse or neglect (each 27.8%, n = 49). Having received education on child abuse/neglect among participants was only 44.9% (n = 79). On the other hand, the rate of having encountered any child abuse/neglect was 40.3% (n = 71). Another result of this study is the proportion of family physicians feeling weak regarding history taking (30.7%, n = 54), physical exam (17.0%, n = 30), and cooperation with the authorities (13.1%, n = 23). Additionally, the different responses among the participants about action in case of encountering child abuse/neglect were remarkable. Being a woman was one prominent factor that increased the SDRCAN score (P < 0.001). Conclusion: The awareness and knowledge of family physicians in Erzurum about child maltreatment are inadequate. We recommend focusing on child maltreatment, especially in medical faculties, including this issue in the standard core curriculums, and organizing intermittent in-service training programs during the post-graduate working period.

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