Child Abuse Sexual Assault

Full-Text Friday: Best Clinical Practices for Male Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse

This week’s full-text offering is from The Permanente Journal and it addresses an issue that certainly doesn’t get discussed enough in healthcare circles: male patients who have experienced child sexual abuse. Coincidentally, I just saw that IAFN posted this article on Facebook, as well, so perhaps some of you have read the article already. If not, I recommend it. Click through for more details:

Citation: Gallo-Silver, S., Anderson, C. & Romo, J. (2014). Best clinical practices for male adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse: “Do no harm”. The Permanente Journal, 18(3), 82-87. (PDF)

Why this article? Because it’s a critical topic for clinicians to understand, and the article itself is full of useful strategies for communicating effectively, responding to disclosures, and recognizing the long-term health implications of child sexual abuse. It’s brief, on point and relevant. Note: the authors gear the article to physicians, but obviously all of this applies to nurses, as well.

Key quote: This doesn’t necessarily incapsulate the breadth of recommendations in the article, but I thought this was a really important issue that should be highlighted:

A physician may believe that s/he has the patient’s permission to examine him simply because the patient is in the examination room and com- plying with the physician’s requests. Even if physicians inform a patient of what they will do during an examination or procedure, in the context of the physician as the authority, it implies the patient has no choice. This can easily replicate the patient’s history of sexual abuse, in which his body ceases to be his own and the abuser uses his body in various ways. (p 86)