The prevalence of child maltreatment in India and its association with gender, urbanisation and policy: a systematic review and meta-analysis protocol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

Abstract

Introduction: India is home to 20% of the world’s children and yet, little is known on the magnitude and trends of child maltreatment nationwide. The aims of this systematic review are to provide a prevalence of child maltreatment in India with considerations for any effects of gender; urbanisation (e.g. urban versus rural); and, legislation (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012).

Methods and Analysis: A systematic review will be undertaken of all quantitative peer-reviewed studies on child maltreatment in India between 2005 and 2020. Four electronic databases will be systematically searched: PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane and PsychIndex. The primary outcomes will include all aspects of child maltreatment: physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, emotional neglect and physical neglect. Study participants will be between 0-18 years and will have reported maltreatment experiences using validated, reliable tools such as the Adverse Childhood Experiences Questionnaire as well as child self-reports and clinician reports. Methodological appraisal of the studies will be assessed by the Newcastle-Ottawa Quality assessment scale. Also, if sufficient data are available, a meta-analysis will be conducted. Effect sizes will be determined from random-effects models stratified by gender, urbanisation and pre-and post the 2012 POCSO Act cut off.

Ethics and Dissemination: As this is a systematic review, minimal ethical risks are expected. A Level 1 self-audit checklist has been approved by an ethics panel in the Usher Institute at the University of Edinburgh. Findings from this review will be disseminated widely through peer-reviewed publication and in various media, for example, conferences, congresses or symposia.

Registration: A study protocol was developed before starting this systematic review and was registered with the international prospective register of systematic reviews (PROSPERO) (registration number CRD42019150403)
Original languageEnglish
JournalBMJ Open
Publication statusSubmitted - 2020

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