A Qualitative Assessment of Health Professionals’ Practices and Perceptions towards Age Estimation in Uganda


Annet Kutesa Mutebi
Charles Mugisha Rwenyonyi
Nankwanga Annet
Adriane Kamulegeya
Grace Nabaggala
Joan Kalyango


Introduction: Various guidelines for age estimation based on scientific evidence have been developed by expert groups and bodies internationally. In Uganda, the guidelines and methods being used to estimate the age of juveniles undergoing judicial proceedings are not known. Aim: This study explored the practices and perceptions of the health professionals working with the police towards age estimation for juveniles undergoing criminal proceedings in Uganda. Methods: It was a qualitative study using key informant interviews. Seventeen health professionals working in private clinics and general government hospitals linked to the police were purposively selected. Data were collected using a key informant interview, which allowed the participants to express their views and perceptions concerning the different aspects of the age estimation process. The information gathered focused on the methods used to estimate age and their appropriateness, particularly based on the third molar eruption. The data were analysed using thematic content analysis methodology. Results: It was found that the current practice of age estimation in the country does not fully adapt to international standards and that there are variations among the users. Conclusion: The standardisation of age estimation methods is urgently needed in the country through the use of a multidisciplinary approach and an emphasis on combining methods in order to increase accuracy.


How to Cite
Kutesa Mutebi, A., Mugisha Rwenyonyi, C., Annet, N., Kamulegeya, A., Nabaggala, G., & Kalyango, J. (2023). A Qualitative Assessment of Health Professionals’ Practices and Perceptions towards Age Estimation in Uganda. Journal of Forensic Dental Sciences, 13(3), 182–191. https://doi.org/10.18311/jfds/13/3/2021.650


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