Assessment of knowledge, attitude, and practice of child abuse amongst health care professionals working in tertiary care hospitals of Karachi, Pakistan

Khuld Nihan, Aamir Makda, Huzaifah Salat, Munawar Khursheed, Jabeen Fayyaz, Uzma Rahim Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Introduction: UNICEF report (2004) states that a significant percentage of total child population under the age of 5 years suffered malnutrition. Child sexual abuse remains undiscussed across Pakistan. Health care professionals (HCPs) are usually the first notifiers of child abuse and are ethically obliged to manage and report it.Objective: This study was conducted to assess HCPs' response in dealing with patients of child abuse. With a better understanding, we can have a better outcome for the victims.Methods: A total of 101 participants filled out a structured questionnaire by HCPs working in three tertiary hospitals of Karachi i.e., Aga Khan University, National Institute of Child Health (NICH), and Civil Hospital. Data were entered into SPSS 19.0.Results: HCPs believed that young male relatives were thought to be most likely the offender, and that every child regardless of class is prone to get abused triggered by financial stressors and the absence of parents. Proper physical exams helped identify cases. A proper system of reporting was required in hospitals, but HCPs were reluctant to report the cases to authorities. There was a significant difference noted between public and private hospitals.Conclusion: Our findings indicate that HCPs have limited knowledge in defining various types of abuse and most were unaware of any reporting facility in hospitals. Senior HCPs as consultants have a better understanding of child abuse than nurses or interns. Mandatory reporting should be implicated so that prompt action could be taken. There could be a more successful outcome of managing a child abuse victim with proper training.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDepartment of Emergency Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021

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