In Japan, elementary schools are committed to early discovery of child abuse and neglect. Under Japanese law, dentists are required to be involved in child welfare and early detection of child abuse. However, the extent to which dental practitioners cooperate for prevention of child abuse with schools remains limited to date. Therefore, we undertook a community-based project that aimed to develop screening indicators to identify potentially abused children based on their oral health condition and behavioural characteristics in education settings. We have already reported on the relationship between oral health condition and child abuse. The present study established an indicator that can facilitate identification and prevention of child abuse/neglect.
Study design: Cross-sectional study. Questionnaires were given to teachers at an elementary school to ascertain behavioural characteristics observed in children who experienced abuse.
Responses were obtained from 3,569 children. Eighty-nine students were found to be abused. Sixteen of the 23 items were chosen as significant explanatory variables. Subsequently, a multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that 4 of the 16 items were significant explanatory variables. Statistics: Univariate and multiple logistic regression analyses were performed.
We developed a check sheet for proper assessment, which requires as little effort as possible, and an index for screening children in need based on teaching staff’s observation of students’ daily behaviour in school settings. Highly selected items are advantageous as they lead to a decrease in non-response or responses, which can help in improving the accuracy of the response to each question.
Vol.23 – n.4/2022
Harvard: Y. Kaihara, H. Sasahara, N. Niizato, A. Yamane, H. Nikawa, K. Yamasaki, K. Hosohara, K. Kozai (2022) "Establishment of indicator for screening of child abuse and neglect in primary school-age children", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 23(4), pp315-320. doi: 10.23804/ejpd.2022.23.04.11
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