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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 221564 Find in a Library
Title: Health Care Experiences of Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse: A Systematic Review of Evidence on Sensitive Practice
Journal: Trauma, Violence, & Abuse: A Review Journal  Volume:9  Issue:1  Dated:January 2008  Pages:19-33
Author(s): Kirsten Havig
Date Published: January 2008
Page Count: 15
Type: Literature Review
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This review of medical research on the experiences of adult survivors of sexual abuse in the health-care setting focuses on what is known about providing sensitive care to this population.
Abstract: The review found that health-care providers' recognition of and response to a patient's childhood sexual abuse history can be vital for improved health-care delivery and patient health outcomes. There are specific, patient-informed strategies for health-care providers in terms of facilitation of abuse disclosure and the creation of a safe nonthreatening environment that includes listening to and responding sensitively and appropriately to adverse health effects related to the abuse. Specific impacts of childhood sexual abuse on adult health vary widely among survivors. This requires that each case be examined and treated distinctively based on specific health related factors and causes. Of particular importance for health care providers in interacting with and treating adult survivors of child sexual abuse is knowledge of the process of traumatic stress and associated implications including; individualized triggers, dissociation, somatization (bodily symptoms of emotional distress), stimulus and conditioned responses, and the ebb and flow of recovery. Health-care providers must also be sensitive to power-control issues in interacting with the patient. An authoritarian posture must be relinquished in treating adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse in favor of partnership with the patient in all medical decisions, conducting physical exams, and making referrals. Training for health-care practitioners in the sensitive and knowledgeable care of adult survivors of child sexual abuse would equip them with state-of-the-art knowledge, strategies, and practices in delivering health care to such patients. 37 references
Main Term(s): Adult survivors of child sexual abuse; Child victims
Index Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse; Healthcare; Long term health effects of child abuse; Physician child abuse neglect role
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