Commenced in January 2007
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Clinical Characteristics of Children Presenting with History of Child Sexual Abuse to a Tertiary Care Centre in India

Authors: T. S. Sowmya Bhaskaran, Shekhar Seshadri

Abstract:

This study aims to study the clinical features of with a history of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA). A chart review of 40 children (<16 years) with history of CSA evaluated at the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry of NIMHANS during a two year period was performed. Results:The most common form of abuse was contact penetrative abuse (65%) followed by non-contact penetrative abuse (32.5%). 75% (N=30) had a psychiatric diagnosis at baseline. 50% of these children had one or more psychiatric comorbidities. Anxiety disorder was the most common diagnosis (27.5%) which included PTSD (11%) followed by Depressive disorder (25.2%). Children abused by multiple perpetrators were found to be more likely to have depression, to having a comorbid psychiatric disorder and more prone to exhibit sexualized behaviour. Children who also experienced physical violence at home were more likely to develop psychiatric illness following child sexual abuse. Psychiatric morbidity is high in clinic population of children with history of CSA. It is important to increase the awareness regarding the consequences of CSA in order to increase help seeking.

Keywords: child sexual abuse, India, tertiary care centre, clinical characteristics

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