Because physicians customarily obtain histories before examining children in cases of possible sexual abuse, and because the resulting diagnostic opinions can influence important social and legal decisions, we investigated whether clinical histories influence physicians'interpretations of girls'genital findings.
In mailed questionnaires, 1387 randomly selected Fellows of the American Academy of Pediatrics and all 802 members of four professional groups concerned with child abuse or pediatric gynecology were asked to interpret seven simulated cases.
Respondents were asked to interpret seven additional cases in separate questionnaires mailed 4 months later.
Both sets of cases involved the same seven photographs of girls'external genitalia.
However, in six of the seven case pairs, the histories in the two questionnaires differed in the extent to which they suggested sexual abuse.
In the remaining (control) pair, the same history was presented in both questionnaires.
Of 2189 physicians, 1114 (50.9%) responded.
Responses from 604 physicians (54.2%) were eligible for analysis.
Overall, the genital findings were interpreted most consistently by the most experienced physicians and least consistently by the least experienced physicians. (...)
Mots-clés Pascal : Victimologie, Enfant, Homme, Femelle, Abus sexuel, Evaluation, Interprétation, Photographie, Exploration clinique, Personnel sanitaire, Médecin, Expérience professionnelle, Appareil génital femelle pathologie
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Victimology, Child, Human, Female, Sexual abuse, Evaluation, Interpretation, Photography, Clinical investigation, Health staff, Physician, Professional experience, Female genital diseases
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 99-0270799
Code Inist : 002B18F02. Création : 16/11/1999.