DOI: 10.1177/00099228231218536 ISSN: 0009-9228

Child Sexual Abuse Documentation in Primary Care Settings

Stephanie C. MacPherson, Megan Golonka, Yuerong Liu, Lindsay Terrell, Kelly E. Evans, Jillian H. Hurst, Elizabeth J. Gifford
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology and Child Health

Primary care providers (PCPs) can play an important role in the continuity of care for children who experience sexual abuse (SA). We performed a retrospective, chart-based study of children 3 to 17 years old with SA history. Primary care medical records were reviewed for 2 years after a subspecialty SA evaluation. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression were used to assess factors associated with documentation of SA history and mental health management by the PCP. Of 131 included patients, 43% had PCP documentation of their SA history, which was associated with care from resident providers ( P < .01). There was greater mental health management and mental health referrals by PCPs for the group with documentation compared with the group without documentation (52% vs 23%, P < .001). Overall, child SA history was poorly documented in primary care settings. Identifying mechanisms to improve communication about a child’s SA history with PCPs is important for the child’s ongoing care.

More from our Archive