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.

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 April 18, 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 April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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