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Psychological Outcomes After a Sexual Assault Video Intervention: A Randomized Trial

Miller, Katherine E. MA1; Cranston, Christopher C. MA1; Davis, Joanne L. PhD1; Newman, Elana PhD1; Resnick, Heidi PhD2

doi: 10.1097/JFN.0000000000000080
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ABSTRACT Sexual assault survivors are at risk for a number of mental and physical health problems, including posttraumatic stress disorder and anxiety. Unfortunately, few seek physical or mental health services after a sexual assault (Price, Davidson, Ruggiero, Acierno, & Resnick, 2014). Mitigating the impact of sexual assault via early interventions is a growing and important area of research. This study adds to this literature by replicating and expanding previous studies (e.g., Resnick, Acierno, Amstadter, Self-Brown, & Kilpatrick, 2007) examining the efficacy of a brief video-based intervention that provides psychoeducation and modeling of coping strategies to survivors at the time of a sexual assault nurse examination. Female sexual assault survivors receiving forensic examinations were randomized to standard care or to the video intervention condition (N = 164). The participants completed mental health assessments 2 weeks (n = 69) and 2 months (n = 74) after the examination. Analyses of covariance revealed that women in the video condition had significantly fewer anxiety symptoms at the follow-up assessments. In addition, of those participants in the video condition, survivors reporting no previous sexual assault history reported significantly fewer posttraumatic stress symptoms 2 weeks after the examination than those with a prior assault history. Forensic nurses have the unique opportunity to intervene immediately after a sexual assault. This brief video intervention is a cost-effective tool to aid with that process.

Author Affiliations:1The University of Tulsa, 2Medical University of South Carolina.

Funding for this project was provided by the Oklahoma Center for Advancement of Science and Technology HR08-017.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Katherine E. Miller, MA, Department of Psychology, University of Tulsa, 800 South Tucker Dr., Tulsa, OK 74104. E-mail: katherine-miller@utulsa.edu.

Received March 5, 2015; accepted for publication June 15, 2015.

© 2015 by the International Association of Forensic Nurses. All rights reserved.
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