Date of Award

2001

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Nursing (M.S.N.)

Department

College of Nursing

Abstract

The study objective was to compare the documentation of physical findings and legal outcomes of women evaluated in an emergency department (ED) and freestanding nurse examiner program (NEP). The study was a retrospective cohort analysis of consecutive female patients presenting after sexual assault to either the ED or to the NEP.

Genital injuries were documented in 19% of the ED group, in 74% of the 1997 NEP group and 77% of the 1998 NEP group. These differences were statistically significant (x2=75.75; df=2; p=.000). In 24% of the ED patients and 21% of the 1997 NEP patients, warrants were issued compared to 37% of the cases at the NEP in 1998. These differences were statistically significant (x2 =7.28, df=2, p=.03).

In conclusion, results suggest that colposcopy with digital imaging improves detection of genital trauma in female sexual assault victims and provides valuable legal information for law enforcement investigating allegations of criminal sexual conduct.

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