A cross-sectional exploratory study of knowledge, attitudes, and practices of emergency health care providers in the assessment of child maltreatment in Maputo, Mozambique.

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BACKGROUND:In Mozambique, and other low-income countries (LICs), there is little information on the burden of child maltreatment (CM). Emergency care services (ECS) play an important role in recognizing, treating, and intervening in situations of CM. We aim to identify knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding CM among health care providers in ECS at Mavalane General Hospital in Maputo, Mozambique. METHODS:This exploratory cross-sectional study evaluates the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of health care providers to diagnose and treat cases of CM. A 25 min, pilot-tested verbal interview questionnaire was administered to 49 physicians and nurses working in ECS at Mavalane General Hospital. Interviews were completed between October-November 2010. Data were managed and analyzed in SPSS 14.0 and descriptive statistics were generated. RESULTS:Of 49 health care providers, 83.6% reporting receiving no, or very little CM education or training. Only 61.2% had knowledge of physical abuse as a main form of child maltreatment and 38.8% were able to identify corresponding symptoms of physical abuse. Sexual abuse as a main form of CM was mentioned by 26.5 and 2% cited its symptoms. While 87.7% of health care providers strongly agreed or agreed that they hold an important role in preventing CM, 51.1% also strongly disagreed or disagreed that they feel confident diagnosing and treating CM cases. In regards to follow-up, 14.3% strongly disagreed or disagreed that they know where to refer victims for further follow-up and an additional 14.3% did not know whether they agreed or disagreed. CONCLUSION:This study revealed knowledge gaps in emergency health care provider knowledge of the main forms of CM and their symptoms. The fact that a majority of health care providers in our sample did not receive information specific to CM in their medical education and training could explain this gap, as well as their unawareness of where to refer victims. Given that health care providers believe they play an important role in identifying and treating CM, future research should focus on raising physician awareness of CM and developing education and training materials grounded in cultural contexts to build response capacity in Mozambique and other LICs.





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Pinto, Liliana, Adriana Lein, Raquel Mahoque, David W Wright, Scott M Sasser and Catherine A Staton (2018). A cross-sectional exploratory study of knowledge, attitudes, and practices of emergency health care providers in the assessment of child maltreatment in Maputo, Mozambique. BMC emergency medicine, 18(1). p. 11. 10.1186/s12873-018-0162-9 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/22019.

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Catherine Ann Staton

Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine

Catherine Staton MD MSc

Dr. Staton is an Associate Professor in Emergency Medicine (EM), Neurosurgery & Global Health with tenure at Duke University. She is the Director of the GEMINI (Global EM Innovation & Implementation) Research Center and the EM Vice Chair of Research Strategy & Faculty Development. Her research integrates innovative implementation methods into health systems globally to improve access to acute care. In 2012, with an injury registry at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center, Tanzania Dr. Staton demonstrated 30% of injury patients had at risk alcohol use, providing preliminary data for a K01/Career Development Award. Her K01 award adapted a brief alcohol intervention to the KCMC ED and Swahili and is now being trialed in an NIAAA funded R01 pragmatic adaptive clinical trial. Dr. Staton and her mentor and collaborator Dr. Mmbaga are co-PD of the “The TReCK Program: Trauma Research Capacity Building in Kilimanjaro” to train 12 masters and doctoral learners to conduct innovative implementation and data science projects to improve care for injury patients. Currently, Dr. Staton and GEMINI partners with over a dozen faculty from over 6 low- and middle-income countries to conduct research, has mentored over 150 learners from undergraduate to post-doctoral levels from high, middle and low- income settings and has over 130 manuscripts.

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