Clinical characteristic and risk factors of recurrent sexual abuse and delayed reported sexual abuse in childhood

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Abstract

Child sexual abuse (CSA) is a global problem that affects children of all ages, and the evaluation of these victims by psychologic and gynecologic experts in pediatric emergency departments is an important issue. Few data are available on the characteristics of children admitted to pediatric emergency department with recurrent CSA and delayed reported CSA. The aim of the present study was to describe the clinical features of, and risk factors for, recurrent CSA and delayed reported CSA. The study retrospectively analyzed victims of CSA who were admitted to a pediatric emergency department. Chi-square tests and univariate analyses were performed to assess the risk factors of recurrent or delayed reported CSA. Of the 91 CSA cases, 32 (35.2%) were recurrent assaults. Of the 70 cases recorded the duration of the event, 22 (31.4%) were delayed report cases. Comparisons of the non-recurrent and recurrent CSA assault groups revealed a significant increase in comorbidities (odds ratio [OR]: 4.46, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.54–12.93), acute psychiatric problems (OR: 3.18, CI: 1.26–8.06), attempted suicide (OR: 4.23, CI: 1.28–13.99), and the need for treatment with antipsychotic medications (OR: 5.57, CI: 1.37–22.65). Compared with non-delayed reported cases, the delay reported cases of CSA were significantly more likely to have anxiety (P < .05). The CSA victims in the present study exhibited acute medical and/or psychosocial problems, which indicate that pediatric emergency professionals have a responsibility to look for and recognize particular characteristics in these victims.

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