Evaluation of factors infl uencing child abuse leading to oro-facial lesions in Isfahan, Iran: A qualitative approach

Firoozeh Nilchian, Seyed Ebrahim Jabbarifar, Navid Khalighinejad, Leyli Sadri, Alireza Saeidi, Leila Arbab


Background: Since child abuse and neglect are serious conditions which can potentially lead to inappropriate dental health, we conducted this qualitative study to defi ne the factors infl uencing child abuse and neglect, which lead to oro-facial lesions.

Materials and Methods: Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted by social services employees. Purposive sampling was used to recruit participants to capture a range of experiences such as the physical abuse, sexual abuse, role of family in child abuse, age, and gender.

Results: Participants demonstrated a range of perceptions which lead to child abuse including hitting on the head and slapping. Often subsidiary to this view, several factors were mentioned that occasionally infl uenced child abuse. These factors appeared to be idiosyncratic but could be drawn together into three categories: Cultural lacks which includes poverty, cruelty of parents and addiction, psychological disorders, and separation in the family which was seen in most of the children.

Conclusion: This study has identifi ed a variety of factors infl uencing the incidence of child abuse. Therefore, dentists should meticulously pay attention to children who have these risk factors in order to discover child abuse events. Quantitative research would reveal the extent of these factors. Dentists’ knowledge of their roles in managing cases suffering from abuse might need to be assessed to see if dentists need further education in this important area.

Key Words: Child abuse, child neglect, Iran, oro-facial lesions

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