U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Using Telemedicine to Improve the Care Delivered to Sexually Abused Children in Rural, Underserved Hospitals

NCJ Number
Pediatrics Volume: 123 Issue: 1 Dated: January 2009 Pages: 223-229
Kristen J. MacLeod, M.D.; James P. Marcin, M.D.; Cathy Boyle. M.S.; Sheridan Miyamoto, M.S.; Robert J. Dimand, M.D.; Kristen K. Rogers, Ph.D.
Date Published
January 2009
7 pages
This study examined the use of telemedicine in order to provide improved levels of care to sexually abused children being treated in rural, underserved hospitals.
This study examined the benefits of using telemedicine consultations in the treatment of sexually abused children presenting at rural, underserved hospitals, and found that in 47 percent of the consultations, treating physicians changed their interview methods; in 86 percent of the consultations the multi-method examination technique was used; and in 40 percent of the consultations, adjunct techniques were used. In addition, the study found that in 89 percent of the acute sexual assault consults, changes in the collection of forensic evidence were implemented. Data for this study were obtained from 42 live telemedicine consultations conducted by child abuse experts at a university children's hospital. The experts provided 24/7 live telemedicine consultations to clinicians at two rural hospitals treating female patients under the age of 18 presenting with indications of sexual abuse. The consultations were analyzed to determine whether rural health care providers would be able to improve their ability to conduct effective examinations and collect forensic evidence in cases of sexually abused children. The findings indicate that the use of telemedicine consultations by child abuse experts in cases of sexually abused children presenting for treatment at rural hospitals significantly improves the patient's quality of care appropriate collection of forensic evidence. Tables and references