Possible paths to increase detection of child sexual abuse in child and adolescent psychiatry: a meta-synthesis of survivors’ and health professionals’ experiences of addressing child sexual abuse
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being. 2022, 17 (1), . 10.1080/17482631.2022.2103934
Background: Efforts are directed both towards prevention and early detection of Child sexual abuse (CSA). Yet, only about 50% of CSA survivors disclose before adulthood, and health professionals rarely are the first disclosure recipients. Increasing the detection rate of CSA within the context of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (CAP) therefore represents a significant secondary prevention strategy. However, facilitating CSA disclosure when the survivor is reluctant to tell is a highly complex and emotionally demanding clinical task. We therefore argue that efforts to increase detection rates of CSA within CAP need to rest on knowledge of how both survivors and health professionals experience addressing CSA. Method: Using meta-ethnography as method, we present separate sub-syntheses as well an overarching joint synthesis of how survivors and health professionals experience addressing CSA. Results: Results show how both survivors and health professionals facing CSA disclosure feel deeply isolated, they experience the consequences of addressing CSA as highly unpredictable, and they need support from others to counteract the negative impact of CSA. Conclusion: The results indicate that adapting the organization of CAP to knowledge of how the survivors and health professionals experience addressing CSA is critical to facilitate earlier disclosure of CSA within CAP.