Examination issues and techniques: Conducting the medical history

Martin A. Finkel, Randell A. Alexander

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


A key portion of the medical evaluation of child sexual abuse is the medical history. This differs from interviews or histories obtained by other professionals in that it is focuses more on the health and well-being of the child. Careful questions should be asked about all aspects of the child's medical history by a skilled, compassionate, nonjudgmental, and objective clinician. Often the diagnosis of sexual abuse is based only on the medical history. The history can be further understood by knowledge of how children are abused and their reactions to it. By addressing the child's and parent's concerns, reassurance can also be provided about what is normal and abnormal with the child's body.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)486-504
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Child Sexual Abuse
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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