Factors impacting injury documentation after sexual assault: role of examiner experience and gender.Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2004 Jun; 190(6):1739-43; discussion 1744-6.AJ
This study was undertaken to determine whether physician gender or level of experience is associated with the prevalence of trauma documented in victims after sexual assault.
All female patients 15 years or older reporting to an urban hospital with a complaint of sexual assault between January 1997 and September 1999 underwent a standardized history and physical examination by a second- or third-year resident in obstetrics and gynecology. Data were abstracted and verified. A chi(2) or Fisher exact test was used for categoric analysis.
The overall prevalence of genital trauma was 21% in the 662 patients available for analysis. The prevalence of genital trauma documented by second- and third-year residents was 50 of 191 patients (26.2%) and 90 of 471 patients (19.1%), respectively (P=.04), despite similar assault characteristics between the 2 groups. The prevalence of genital trauma documented by male examiners (105/499 [21.0%]) and female examiners (35/160 [21.9%]) did not differ (P=.8). All examiners documented a similar prevalence of body trauma (52%).
This study supports the hypothesis that the examiner's experience level may influence the prevalence of genital trauma documented after a sexual assault. Genital trauma documented was not associated with examiner gender in this study.