Factors affecting medical and nursing staff reporting of child abuse

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Aim:The purpose of the current research was to examine whether the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) succeeds in predicting nursing and medical staff reporting of suspected child abuse.Background:Despite the rising incidence of child abuse in Israel, medical and nursing staff reports of suspected child abuse remain low.Methods:This descriptive, correlational, cross-sectional study was based on TPB. The Child Abuse Report Intention Scale questionnaire was administered to 143 nurses and 42 doctors who work with children in various departments of a central Israeli hospital and in a large affiliated community-based clinic. Descriptive, correlational and linear regression statistics were calculated.Results:Objection to child abuse, views of professional responsibility on this issue, degree of self-control and subjective beliefs, affect reporting of suspected child abuse. Differences in reporting are evident between doctors and nurses and also between medical and nursing staff from the Arab and Jewish sectors. Doctors report more than nurses and Jewish staff members report more than their Arab colleagues. Medical and nursing staff's number of own children has a direct effect on their inclination to report child abuse.Conclusions:The TPB model succeeds in partly predicting medical and nursing staff reporting of suspected child abuse. This model can serve as a basis for intervention plans aimed at developing medical and nursing simulations of coping with conflict issues involving child abuse in an attempt to eradicate and treat inadequate reporting.

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