Is there a role for paediatric Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners in the management of child sexual assault in Australia?Child Abuse Negl 2016; 59:13-25CA
In Australia, paediatricians and Child Protection Specialists provide the medical and forensic examinations of child victims of sexual assault. There are workforce challenges in the recruitment and retention of doctors to undertake child sexual assault (CSA) work particularly in remote and rural areas. Pediatric Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (PSANE) programs have existed in the USA and the UK for many years. Using Rapid Evidence Assessment (REA) methodology, a systematic search of the literature was performed to ascertain what is known about SANE programs, to evaluate the evidence for their effectiveness across a number of domains (accessibility, health and legal outcomes and cost effectiveness) and to inform policy on models of care and elements of best practice which may be appropriate for local implementation in Australia. This review showed that despite the limited evidence available and significant gaps in the evidence, SANEs provide a high standard of medical care and are not detrimental to the legal process. By providing recommendations regarding the potential value, effectiveness and feasibility of establishing a PSANE program in Australia, this article may be of interest to other high income countries facing similar workforce challenges in meeting the needs of children with alleged sexual assault.