The health care experiences of adult survivors of child sexual abuse : a systematic review of evidence on sensitive practice [abstract]
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I propose to present a poster representing findings from my article, just published in the January 2008 issue of the Journal of Trauma, Violence, and Abuse entitled, "The health care experiences of adult survivors of child sexual abuse: A systematic review of evidence on sensitive practice". This study was inspired by my work with adult survivors of child sexual abuse (CSA) as a practicing social worker/therapist. The women I worked with spoke of the impact that abuse has had on their physical health, health care utilization, perceptions about their bodies and health, and experiences with health care providers. They spoke of avoiding care because of trauma triggers related to being touched, disrobing, and being placed in vulnerable physical positioning by providers during the health care encounter. They spoke of having to explain repeatedly about extensive cervical scarring resulting from years of sexual abuse and fighting to avoid invasive tests requested by providers to "explain" these anomalies. They spoke of being dismissed by providers as they sought help for chronic pain not easily categorized or "cured".
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