Awareness of domestic violence among dental professionals
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Objectives: The aim of this study is to determine and describe awareness of domestic violence in dental professionals. The objectives are to describe domestic violence practices of dental professionals and barriers faced in identification and intervention of suspected domestic violence victims. Methods: The study population consisted of a convenience sample of dentists and dental hygienists attending the Yankee Dental Conference held in Boston, Massachusetts. The data were collected using a pilot tested questionnaire. Epi-Info version 3.2 and PC SAS were used for analysis. Bivariate analysis, multivariate logistic and multiple regression models were performed. Results: The total study population was 359 with 169 dentists and 190 dental hygienists. There were 67% male dentists and 33% females; in contrast hygienists were primarily females with only l% of hygienists being male. The mean years since graduation for dentists were 18.9 [plus or minus] 12.1 years and for dental hygienists it was 16.4 [plus or minus] 11.4 years. The study population belonged predominantly to the New England area. Dentists were more likely to be familiar with regulations governing domestic violence (DV) as compared to hygienists. Screening practices of both the groups were very similar however, having a history of prior DV education made a significant difference. Dental professionals who received prior DV education in school or continuing education courses were more likely to screen for DV compared to those who did not. Dentists were ll% more likely to have suspected one of their patients to be a victim of DV. Actions taken when DV was suspected were similar in both the groups but dentists were O.65 times less likely to make a note in the chart when they suspected a patient to be a victim of DV. Dentists were O.53 times less likely to report that lack of training was a major factor in identification and referral of domestic violence victims. However, almost more than 85% of hygienists reported lack of training to be a major factor. Compared to hygienists, embarrassment in bringing up the topic was a slightly major deterrent for dentists. Although 76% of dentists and 86% of hygienists said that they needed more DV education; close to 95% of both the groups suggested that DV education should be added to training curricula. Conclusion: There was no difference in domestic violence awareness between dentists and hygienists. Also, there was no difference in DV awareness between male and female dentists. However, having prior DV education did show a significant difference in screening practices and actions taken when a patient was suspected to be a victim of DV. Therefore, these results indicate the need for increased education regarding DV in oral health care providers to be well informed about abuse recognition and mechanisms for intervention.
PLEASE NOTE: This work is protected by copyright. Downloading is restricted to the BU community: please click Download and log in with a valid BU account to access. If you are the author of this work and would like to make it publicly available, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.Thesis (M.S.D.)--Boston University , Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, 2004 (Dental Public Health).Includes bibliography (leaves 38-41).
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