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Strong discomfort during vaginal examination: why consider a history of abuse?
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Gender and medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Gender and medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Gender and medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Center of Paediatrics and Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics in Linköping.
2011 (English)In: European Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology, ISSN 0301-2115, Vol. 157, no 2, 200-205 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective

To study factors associated with strong discomfort during vaginal examinations (SD/VE) by means of four hypotheses.

Study design

A cross sectional postal questionnaire study, conducted at three Swedish departments of obstetrics and gynaecology and with a random population sample (n = 4453).

Main outcome measures

The associations between a self-reported history of emotional, physical and sexual abuse and abuse in health care, flashbacks during the previous year, emotional contact with the examiner, and SD/VE during the index visit (discomfort estimated on a ten-point scale; six-ten = SD). Statistical analyses used were Chi-square, Binary logistic regression, and Pearson Correlation.

Results

Eighteen percent of the women reported SD/VE. There was an association between SD/VE and a lifetime history of abuse. Having experienced combinations of abuse, especially combinations including emotional abuse and abuse in health care, was strongly associated with SD/VE. SD/VE was furthermore associated with flashbacks during the previous year, and negative emotional contact with the examiner during the index visit.

Conclusions

We conclude that women who unexpectedly react with SD/VE are more likely to have a background of abuse, and may even run a risk of feeling re-traumatised during the VE. A clinical implication is to consider a history of abuse in patients who react with SD/VE or experience negative emotional contact during the consultation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier , 2011. Vol. 157, no 2, 200-205 p.
Keyword [en]
NorAQ, Sexual abuse, Emotional abuse, Vaginal examination, Discomfort, Abuse in health care
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-67861DOI: 10.1016/j.ejogrb.2011.02.025ISI: 000293727800016OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-67861DiVA: diva2:413885
Available from: 2011-04-29 Created: 2011-04-29 Last updated: 2014-10-21

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Swahnberg, KatarinaWijma, BarbroSiwe, Karin

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Gender and medicineFaculty of Health SciencesDepartment of Gynaecology and Obstetrics in Linköping
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