Implementation and evaluation of a training program for the management of sexual assault in the emergency department. Academic Article uri icon


  • Sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) programs have improved the quality of care for sexual assault victims. An adverse effect of these programs is reduced resident clinical exposure to victims of sexual assault. The objectives of this project are to determine the baseline level of resident competence in knowledge and management of sexual assault and to demonstrate the effectiveness of training in developing resident competence.The study included 27 emergency medicine residents at an urban academic center with an active SANE program. The design included pretest, intervention, and retest at 6 months. The intervention included 8 hours of lecture, role play, and skills laboratories. Objectives were based on SANE standards. The 4 assessments were a written knowledge test, evidence collection on mannequin, standardized patient interviews, and a written emergency department note. Data were compared with paired t tests.Twenty-three (85%) residents completed the study. Preintervention, residents scored 56% on the written knowledge test, 63% on evidence collection, 71% on standardized patient interviews, and 66% on the written note. Residents showed significant postintervention improvements in written knowledge (improvement 24%; 95% confidence interval [CI] 20% to 27%) and evidence collection (improvement 18%; 95% CI 12% to 24%). Performance on standardized patient-based communication skills did not change after the intervention. Resident posttest scores were similar to those of SANE providers.Emergency medicine residents training in an urban center with an active SANE program had limited knowledge and skills in the treatment of victims of sexual assault. Our multimodal educational intervention increased residents' knowledge and evidence collection skills to levels equivalent to that of experienced providers in a SANE program.

publication date

  • April 2007