Health consequences of childhood sexual abuse

Perspect Psychiatr Care. 2010 Jan;46(1):56-64. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-6163.2009.00238.x.


Purpose: This article provides a summary for advocacy, court testimony, assessment, treatment, prevention, and further research studies in the field of childhood sexual abuse.

Findings: A literature review identifies the psychiatric, social, and disease disorders to which this population is predisposed. Adult survivors experience more depression, obesity, autoimmune disorders (irritable bowel syndrome, asthma, fibromyalgia), eating disorders, and addictions.

Practice implications: A holistic perspective allows understanding of health consequences for survivors. A model through which to consider these phenomena is presented.

Conclusions: The long-term consequences of childhood sexual abuse must be assessed and addressed by healthcare professionals.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child Abuse, Sexual / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Child Abuse, Sexual / prevention & control
  • Child Abuse, Sexual / psychology*
  • Depressive Disorder / nursing
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Female
  • Holistic Nursing
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mind-Body Relations, Metaphysical*
  • Nursing Assessment*
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / nursing*
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / psychology
  • Somatoform Disorders / nursing*
  • Somatoform Disorders / psychology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / nursing
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Young Adult