Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Severe pain in sexual assault survivors often not treated

Date:
September 11, 2012
Source:
American Pain Society
Summary:
A majority of sexual assault victims experience severe pain in the early aftermath of the crime but less than a third of these victims receive pain medications, according to research.

A majority of sexual assault victims experience severe pain in the early aftermath of the crime but less than a third of these victims receive pain medications, according to research in The Journal of Pain, the peer review publication of the American Pain Society.

Related Articles


One in five U.S women experiences a sexual assault in their lifetimes. Like other physical trauma, severe acute pain occurs in sexual assault cases. When physical trauma is limited, factors such as stress-induced hyperalgesia may contribute to post-assault pain. Researchers from the University of North Carolina evaluated the distribution and severity of pain in sexual assault victims who presented for medical care from sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) programs.

This was the first prospective study of pain symptoms in the early aftermath of sexual assault. Female sexual assault survivors 18 years and older who sought a SANE evaluation within 48 hours of the crime were recruited for the study. The subjects were questioned about pain intensity in eight body regions and asked to rate pain severity on a 1- to-10 scale.

Results showed that the majority of sexual assault victims experienced severe or moderate pain in the early aftermath of the attacks. More than half of the women reported pain in four or more body regions. Less than a third said they were treated with pain medications. The study concluded that pain in the aftermath of sexual assault is not only occurring from physical trauma but also might be a neurobiological complication caused by the stress from the frightening experience.

The authors recommended that acute pain caused by sexual assault should be identified and treated promptly to reduce immediate suffering and to help improve psychological outcomes. Also, pain education for SANE program nurses and others who provide care to victims should emphasize that pain is common after sexual assault and attending clinicians should conduct pain evaluations and treat with nonsteriodal anti-inflammatory drugs and perhaps opioid medications.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Pain Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Samuel A. McLean, April C. Soward, Lauren E. Ballina, Catherine Rossi, Suzanne Rotolo, Rebecca Wheeler, Kelly A. Foley, Jayne Batts, Terry Casto, Renee Collette, Debra Holbrook, Elizabeth Goodman, Sheila A.M. Rauch, Israel Liberzon. Acute Severe Pain Is a Common Consequence of Sexual Assault. The Journal of Pain, 2012; 13 (8): 736 DOI: 10.1016/j.jpain.2012.04.008

Cite This Page:

American Pain Society. "Severe pain in sexual assault survivors often not treated." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 September 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120911091102.htm>.
American Pain Society. (2012, September 11). Severe pain in sexual assault survivors often not treated. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120911091102.htm
American Pain Society. "Severe pain in sexual assault survivors often not treated." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120911091102.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Americans Drink More in the Winter

Americans Drink More in the Winter

Buzz60 (Dec. 22, 2014) The BACtrack breathalyzer app analyzed Americans' blood alcohol content and found out a whole lot of interesting things about their drinking habits. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) has more. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins