Heterogeneity of existing research relating to sexual violence, sexual assault and rape precludes meta-analysis of injury data.
AuthorsKennedy, Kieran M
AffiliationGalway Sexual Assault Treatment Unit, Health Service Executive West, Hazelwood House, Parkmore Road, Galway, Ireland; Room 203, Cummerford Medical Education Centre, Clinical Science Institute, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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CitationHeterogeneity of existing research relating to sexual violence, sexual assault and rape precludes meta-analysis of injury data. 2013, 20 (5):447-59 J Forensic Leg Med
JournalJournal of forensic and legal medicine
AbstractIn order for medical practitioners to adequately explain to the court the findings of their clinical examinations of victims of sexual violence, they must have access to research data which will place their findings in to context. Unfortunately, existing research has reported a very wide range of injury prevalence data. This papers aims to provide an explanation for this wide variation in results and, furthermore, this paper aims to establish if it is possible to carry out a meta-analysis of existing research data, pertaining to the prevalence of injury after sexual assault. It is suggested that pooling of individual study results may allow statistically robust determination of the true prevalence of injury in victims of sexual violence. It is concluded that heterogeneity in research methodology, between existing research studies, is responsible for the broad range of reported prevalence rates. Finally, this heterogeneity is seen to preclude robust meta-analysis.
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