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The dilemma of reporting suspicions of child maltreatment in pediatric dentistry
Karolinska Institute, Sweden.
Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Arts and Humanities. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0587-3399
Karolinska Institute, Sweden.
Karolinska Institute, Sweden.
2014 (English)In: European Journal of Oral Sciences, ISSN 0909-8836, E-ISSN 1600-0722, Vol. 122, no 5, 332-338 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study examined the factors that lead specialists in pediatric dentistry to suspect child abuse or neglect and the considerations that influence the decision to report these suspicions to social services. Focus group discussions were used to identify new aspects of child maltreatment suspicion and reporting. Such discussions illuminate the diversity of informants experiences, opinions, and reflections. Focus groups included 19 specialists and postgraduate students in pediatric dentistry. We conducted video-recorded focus group discussions at the informants dental clinics. All sessions lasted approximately 1.5h. We transcribed the discussions verbatim and studied the transcripts using thematic analysis, a method well-suited to evaluating the experiences discussed and how the informants understand them. The analysis process elicited key concepts and identified one main theme, which we labeled the dilemma of reporting child maltreatment. We found this dilemma to pervade a variety of situations and divided it into three sub-themes: to support or report; differentiating concern for well-being from maltreatment; and the supportive or unhelpful consultation. Reporting a suspicion about child maltreatment seems to be a clinical and ethical dilemma arising from concerns of having contradicting professional roles, difficulties confirming suspicions of maltreatment, and perceived shortcomings in the child-protection system.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley , 2014. Vol. 122, no 5, 332-338 p.
Keyword [en]
child abuse; dentist-patient relations; mandatory reporting; professional practice
National Category
Other Humanities
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-112042DOI: 10.1111/eos.12143ISI: 000342804600003PubMedID: 25039643OAI: diva2:763897
Available from: 2014-11-17 Created: 2014-11-13 Last updated: 2015-06-29

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