Potential Impact

Strategic impact

Impacts of BECAN project will contribute towards several of the topics listed in the work program of the specific call. Particularly, BECAN is believed to contribute to the following topics pointed out by this work program: a) Promoting healthy behaviour in children and adolescents, b) Childhood and adolescent mental disorders, c) Implementation of research into healthcare practice, and d) Trends of population health. The specific contribution that the present study is expected to make to each of the aforementioned topics is detailed below. It should be, also, underlined that this study is certainly the larger in sample size ever conducted in the Balkan area (around 30.000 children and parents), and probably one of the biggest globally.

Concerning the first topic “Promoting healthy behaviour in children and adolescents”, the present project will have the following expected impacts:

  • Provide epidemiological information on an important extrinsic factor, which is associated with unhealthy behaviour in children and adolescents, namely CAN. Due to the well established “circle of violence” phenomenon, domestic violence tends to reproduce itself (the victim growing up becomes a perpetrator, etc.). Thus, preventive cutting off of that circle contributes substantially and more effectively in the disappearance of such unhealthy behaviour in both children and adults. There is no information on CAN rates in the general population of Balkan countries.
  • Adopt and promote a multidisciplinary approach concerning the phenomenon of CAN and of the factors that determine it, providing crucial information required for the tackling of the phenomenon.
  • Child abuse and neglect will be examined in different Balkan countries, and to various minorities of children that have dropped out school in these countries;
  • The ICAST questionnaires will be used for the detection of CAN. These instruments were created by ISPCAN (with the support of UNICEF) in order to be used globally, in the context of the UN Study on Violence against Children, and they are still being piloted. The BECAN project will provide a large database, which will contribute to the process of this instruments’ validation.
  • The validated ICAST questionnaires will allow detecting the impact up to day of previously implemented health (prevention and intervention) actions for CAN. A considerable number of researchers will be trained to deliver the ICAST tools appropriately.
  • Child abuse and neglect is related to a number of unhealthy behaviours, especially in adolescence, such as alcohol and drug abuse, juvenile delinquency, school drop-out etc. Adequate prevention and intervention programs for CAN are expected to decrease the number of children and adolescents presenting such unhealthy behaviours.  

In relation to the second topic “Childhood and adolescent mental disorders”, it is believed that the current study will contribute to the following issues:

  • Examine the prevalence of CAN in the general population of the Balkan countries. It is not itself a mental disorder, however it is a strong risk factor/determinant for the development of mental disorders in children and adolescents. These adverse effects on mental health persist during adult life, burdening the Health and Social Welfare System of every country. Thus, societies that take measures to protect their children from abuse and neglect, is like they are implementing a primary prevention program to promote mental health from childhood to adulthood;
  • Biostatistics will be carried out to better describe, analyze and interpret health data related to CAN issues;
  • The results of the study will assist the development of a common diagnostic process of CAN among Balkan countries, as well as of appropriate preventive and intervention strategies;
  • Target areas pointed out by this topic of the FP-HEALTH-2007B call are participating in the BECAN’s Consortium (Eastern Europe and Western Balkans).

The third topic “Implementation of research into healthcare practice” is contemplated in the following manner:

  • Provide information on how do parent and child ICAST questionnaires (which will be used for data collection) work in different countries, settings and populations;
  • Identify and validate factors determining the successful and timely implementation of new European and international recommendations/guidelines/procedures concerning CAN;
  • Issue recommendations for closing the research-practice gap in the implementation of clinical guidelines referring to the detection of CAN in the general population.

Finally, in relation to the fourth topic “Trends of population health”, the current study is expected to have the following impacts:

  • The development of a methodology that will permit a cross-sectional assessment of child abuse and neglect in the general population;
  • Investigate the association of child abuse and neglect with demographic and socio-economic trends taking into account the diversity of Balkan countries.
  • The outcomes from BECAN’s WP3 and WP4 will make the comparison between the Balkan countries’ official databases on CAN issues and data on CAN collected through the epidemiological studies possible. In addition to this, BECAN will provide each of the Balkan countries with the necessary tools to develop timelines for child abuse, namely a surveillance system that could be used for conducting outcome evaluation of each preventive or intervening effort that will be implemented in the future.
  • The results of the epidemiological study on CAN in the Balkan countries can be used, by national and local policy makers and health care managers, as the basis for the development and implementation of strategic and policy recommendations.
  • The present study counts with the participation of organizations from targeted third countries and regions.