Can family pediatricians in Italy identify child abuse? A survey

Lucia Romeo, Daniele Gibelli, Federica Gianotta, Maria Teresa Zocchi, Roberto C. Rossi, Alessandra Kustermann, Cristina Cattaneo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The introduction of the concept of child abuse has radically changed the mode of interaction between pediatricians and children, but also the practice of sanitary personnel in primary care centers, who are often the first to see victims of maltreatment. This study aims at illustrating the results of a questionnaire sent to family doctors, pediatricians and hospitals in Milan and surrounding areas concerning child abuse. Among all the operators, 273 returned the questionnaires. The results show scarce knowledge on how to report to judicial authority in cases of child abuse (51.5%), mainly because of lack of basilar information concerning the manner of reporting. For what concerns specific training, almost half the subjects recruited for the study admitted not to have attended any congress or meeting concerning child maltreatment in the last three years. In the same time span, more than one third has not read any scientific articles concerning child abuse. In addition, 75.6% admit to not ever having attended any professional training course concerning child maltreatment. This study highlights the scarce knowledge on the behalf of pediatricians and general practitioners regarding how to deal with child abuse and the importance of proper training programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-236
Number of pages7
JournalMinerva Pediatrica
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2016


  • Child abuse
  • Domestic violence
  • General practitioners
  • Pediatric nursing
  • Professional-patient relations
  • Surveys and questionnaires

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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  • Cite this

    Romeo, L., Gibelli, D., Gianotta, F., Zocchi, M. T., Rossi, R. C., Kustermann, A., & Cattaneo, C. (2016). Can family pediatricians in Italy identify child abuse? A survey. Minerva Pediatrica, 68(3), 230-236.