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Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2006 Jan;160(1):70-3.

Unmet health care needs among children evaluated for sexual assault.

Author information

1
University of Texas at Houston School of Medicine, 6431 Fannin Street, MSB 3.156B, Houston, TX 77030, USA. Rebecca.g.girardet@uth.tmc.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To determine in a population of children who underwent a medical examination after alleged sexual assault the proportion who had unmet medical or psychiatric needs.

DESIGN:

Retrospective medical record review.

SETTING:

A referral center for alleged child victims of sexual assault in Houston, Tex, from December 1, 2003, through April 30, 2004.

PARTICIPANTS:

Four hundred seventy-three children (81% girls). Nine children refused all or part of the medical evaluation.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Diagnoses that warranted intervention at the time of the medical evaluation.

RESULTS:

A medical or psychological diagnosis that required intervention as judged by the examiner was made in 123 children (26%) (95% confidence interval, 22%-30%). In 39 children (8% of the total study population) (95% confidence interval, 6%-11%), the diagnosis had the potential to result in significant patient morbidity if not immediately addressed. In contrast, 44 children (9%) (95% confidence interval, 7%-12%) had probable or definite physical or laboratory evidence that supported the allegation of sexual assault.

CONCLUSION:

Among children undergoing a medical evaluation after an alleged sexual assault, important unmet health care needs are at least as common as forensic findings.

PMID:
16389214
DOI:
10.1001/archpedi.160.1.70
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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