University of Twente Student Theses


Psychological preparation for the first medical treatment of sexually abused children

Bothe, M.C. (2013) Psychological preparation for the first medical treatment of sexually abused children.

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Abstract:This thesis is about the development of a picture book. This book is developed in order to reduce anxiety for examination of children who are under suspicion of being victim of sexual abuse. According to literature, immediate and accurate examination of children who are under suspicion of being victims of sexual abuse is necessary for several reasons, like examination being the only way to secure evidence of sexual abuse. Irrespective of the importance of examination, a medical examination can seem very scary to children. Although anxieties differ per child there are a few general facts children seem to be afraid of: (1) the unknown hospital's environment (surroundings, equipment and smell), (2) the fear of being ill (children see that they are damageable), (3) the foreign “language” which is spoken in the hospital (children often do not understand what happens and what the doctor says) and (4) the feeling of being other-directed (children have to take their clothes off when the doctor says so, which gives them an impression of powerlessness). They are also afraid of (5) being or feeling alone as a result of a lack of social support during examination. According to literature it is possible to reduce those anxieties by informing children adequately by offering them procedural information, sensorial information and coping instructions. Furthermore this information should be handed to the children adequately. Literature states that for example short sentences, every-day language and visual support are essential towards an adequate layout for children. Therefore this thesis tried to create a picture book as an educational instrument to reduce anxieties by giving detailed information in a way adequately for children. Towards this end, the book was designed in cooperation with the “Vestische Kinder und Jugendklinik Datteln “(Germany). This participatory design cycles was divided into four steps: Step 1: The book’s professional content, the target group and the book’s goals were developed in cooperation with the chief physician of the “Kinderschutzambulanz” in Datteln (Germany). She gave detailed procedural information, sensorial information and information of possible coping instructions during examination. Step 2: The information that was given by the main physician of the “Kinderschutzambulanz”, was worked out in a mock-up of the picture bock with regard of designing the picture book`s content, pictures and texts adequately for children. Step 3: The designed mock-up was shown to the social worker of the “Kinderschutzambulanz” and the main physician who gave feedback on it. Step4: In the last step the feedback was worked out on the mock-up and book was created. The whole developing team expects the created picture book to be an educational instrument that successfully reduces anxieties in children for examination, by preparing the children adequately for the examination.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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