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01-04-2013 | Original Paper | Uitgave 3/2013

Journal of Child and Family Studies 3/2013

Video Intervention for Child and Caregiver Distress Related to the Child Sexual Abuse Medical Examination: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 3/2013
Alyssa A. Rheingold, Carla Kmett Danielson, Tatiana M. Davidson, Shannon Self-Brown, Heidi Resnick


Children who disclose child sexual abuse are often referred for a comprehensive medical exam to ensure physical well-being and gather evidence. This study examined a brief, developmentally appropriate, psychoeducational video designed to instruct children and caregivers about the exam procedures and coping strategies to be used during the exam. Sixty-nine children ages 4–15 and their caregivers were randomly assigned to view the psychoeducational video (n = 35) or to receive standard practice (n = 34). Distress before, during, and after the exam was assessed in both children and caregiver, as were measures of satisfaction and knowledge about the investigation process and coping strategies. Consistent with hypotheses, results indicated that the video intervention was well-received by families, increased caregiver knowledge, and decreased stress during the examination. Caregiver and child distress decreased from pre to post examination across both conditions, and, unexpectedly, there were no significant differences in these decreases between groups. Overall results from this pilot study are promising in supporting a cost-effective and brief early intervention approach at the time of the medical examination for child sexual abuse for children and their caregivers.

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