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Archives de pédiatrie
Volume 25, n° 3
pages 207-212 (avril 2018)
Doi : 10.1016/j.arcped.2017.11.003
Received : 31 Mars 2017 ;  accepted : 5 November 2017
Research Papers

Évaluation des connaissances et des pratiques des pédiatres de Bretagne concernant la protection de l’enfance
Child protection: Pediatricians’ knowledge and practices in Brittany

C. Ayou a, b, E. Gauducheau c, A. Arrieta d, M. Roussey d, M. Marichal a, N. Vabres b, M. Balençon a, , d, e
a Pédiatrie, CHU de Rennes, 16, boulevard de Bulgarie, 35203 Rennes cedex, France 
b UAED Pédiatrie, CHU de Nantes, 7, quai Moncousu, 44093 Nantes cedex, France 
c École de sages-femmes de Papeete, UER de médecine de Tours, BP1640 Papeete, Polynésie française 
d Faculté de médecine de Rennes, université de Rennes 1, 2, avenue du Professeur-Léon-Bernard, 35000 Rennes, France 
e UMJ Mineurs Hôtel-Dieu, AP–HP, 1, place du Parvis-Notre-Dame, 75004 Paris, France 

Auteur correspondant.
Background and aims

On 5 March 2007, the law concerning the child protection system was reformed. Since then, child protection services have been responsible for the management of child abuse and neglect. Reporting and asking for child protection is now easier for every physician by submitting a “preoccupying information” form. A study conducted in 2014 in the general practitioners (GP) in the Ille-et-Vilaine department showed that they were quite unfamiliar with the child protection updates and that they needed special training. We wished to study the knowledge and practices of the pediatricians in Brittany and compare these results to the previous study.


An anonymous postal investigation was conducted between May and July 2014. The questionnaire was referred to the previous study so the results would be comparable.


A total of 134 pediatricians (including 99 women) of the 316 pediatricians of Brittany answered our questionnaire regarding their activity and their knowledge about child abuse and neglect. These results were analyzed and compared to the data of GPs in Ille-et-Vilaine. Only 4.4 % of the pediatricians obtained more than 80 % correct answers and 12 % of the pediatricians obtained fewer than 50 % correct answers. Among the pediatricians, 41 % of them had not reported a single time since 2007. The pediatricians who obtained better results (P <0.001) had more training and were more often in contact with child abuse and neglect than the GPs. The most common reasons that clinicians gave for not reporting were lack of a return from social services after a report, lack of training and the fear of making a misdiagnosis. Indeed only 9 % had received feedback from social services. To make reporting easier, 92 % of the pediatricians would like training and 97 % found a simple practice guide on child abuse useful.


Child protection is a neglected subject, including by pediatricians. To fight against professional denial and isolation, a substantial effort is still needed concerning caregivers’ training as well as pediatric care organization.

The full text of this article is available in PDF format.

Keywords : Child protection, Child abuse

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