Medical News and Perspectives |

Group Advises Clinicians to Routinely Screen Women for Sexual Assault History

Bridget M. Kuehn
JAMA. 2011;306(10):1072. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1240.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


During medical visits, clinicians should routinely screen their female patients, particularly those who report pelvic pain, pain during menstruation, or sexual dysfunction, for a history of sexual assault, according to a new recommendation from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

As many as 18% of women report having been raped or having experienced an attempted rape in their lifetime, according to the National Violence Against Women Survey, which was sponsored by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Justice and collected data from a nationally representative sample of women and men between 1995 and 1996 (https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/183781.pdf). Such assaults may be associated with both acute and long-term health consequences, including traumatic injuries, a risk of pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, unexplained pain, or sexual dysfunction. They also may experience both short-term and long-psychiatric conditions, according to the recommendation. In the immediate aftermath of the attack, women often experience a rape-trauma syndrome that may last for days or weeks. This acute reaction may include generalized pain, eating and sleep problems, emotional reactions, and mood swings. After this initial phase, a woman may have flashbacks, nightmares, and phobias. These women may also develop posttraumatic stress disorder or substance abuse problems.

Sign In to Access Full Content

Don't have Access?

Register and get free email Table of Contents alerts, saved searches, PowerPoint downloads, CME quizzes, and more

Subscribe for full-text access to content from 1998 forward and a host of useful features

Activate your current subscription (AMA members and current subscribers)

Purchase Online Access to this article for 24 hours




Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

Sign In to Access Full Content

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Articles Related By Topic
Related Topics
PubMed Articles