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BEHANDLING-God og treffsikker diagnostikk, behandling og rehabilitering

OrChid -Oral health care services for Children victims of violence and sexual abuse -Focusing on the clinical forensic dental examinations

Alternative title: Tannhelsetjenester til barn utsatt for vold og seksuelle overgrep

Awarded: NOK 8.7 mill.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child states that every child has a right to education, play, health, and to protection from violence and exploitation. In spite of this promise, violence and child abuse have become a major public health and welfare problem in high-income countries. There is an emerging need for prevention, early identification, and appropriate help and treatment of abused children—both for the sake of children as individuals and for society at large. The effect of violence and abuse on the oral health of children is still little explored. However, there is a growing body of empirical evidence that links child abuse and poor oral health, showing that children with violent and abusive experiences often have poor self-perceived oral health and higher incidence of untreated tooth decay compared to the general population. In Norway, the public dental health service is the only health service in the country that sees all children on a regular basis, with as many as 98.4% of all children under its supervision. Despite the fact that dental professionals have a lot of knowledge about children's oral health, there has been little focus on the role of dental health services in detecting and preventing violence and abuse. With Orchid our ambition is to address these challenges and contribute not only to development of the under-researched area of clinical forensic odontology but also to development of targeted and coherent oral health services for children victims of violence and sexual abuse. The knowledge developed in OrChid will help to: 1. ensure early identification of violence and sexual abuse against children at dental clinics, 2. ensure reliable clinical forensic dental examination and 3. ensure good follow-up and dental health care for children and adolescents in vulnerable life situations.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child states that every child has a right to education, play, health, and to protection from violence and exploitation. In spite of this promise, violence and child abuse have become a major public health and welfare problem in high-income countries. There is an emerging need for prevention, early identification, and appropriate help and treatment of abused children—both for the sake of children as individuals and for society at large. The effect of violence and abuse on the oral health of children is still little explored. However, there is a growing body of empirical evidence that links child abuse and poor oral health, showing that children with violent and abusive experiences often have poor selfperceived oral health and higher incidence of untreated tooth decay compared to the general population. Furthermore, 70% of the physical injuries in abused children are located in the head and neck region. In Norway, the public dental health service is the only health service in the country that sees all children on a regular basis, with as many as 98.4% of all children under its supervision. Despite the fact that dental professionals have a lot of knowledge about children's oral health, there has been little focus on the role of dental health services in detecting and preventing violence and abuse. Furthermore, there is a lack of inter-service and inter-professional practice and collaboration when facing the complex health and social needs of children victims of violence and abuse. It is now time to change this trend as dental professionals are, in our opinion, a crucial piece of the puzzle in detecting child abuse and violence. With Orchid our ambition is to address these challenges and contribute not only to development of the under-researched area of clinical forensic odontology but also to development of targeted and coherent oral health services for children victims of violence and sexual abuse.

Activity:

BEHANDLING-God og treffsikker diagnostikk, behandling og rehabilitering