PURPOSE: Little is known about the relationship between minority adolescent's experiences of sexual or physical abuse and the pathology of gynecological symptoms that might have an impact on the diagnosis of sexually transmitted disease (STD) or risk for pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). The objective of this study was to determine the relationship of sexual or physical abuse to the pathology of genitourinary symptoms that impact diagnoses of STD and risk for PID among Mexican American and African American adolescent women with a current STD. METHODS: Mexican American and African American adolescent women (n = 373) with an STD underwent a targeted physical exam and questioning regarding sexual or physical abuse, current genitourinary symptomatology, and risk behaviors known to be associated with PID to determine the relationship of sexual or physical abuse to the pathology of genitourinary symptoms that impact diagnoses of STD and risk for PID. RESULTS: Bivariate comparisons found that abused adolescents (n = 232) reported more behaviors associated with increased risk for PID, including earlier coitus, more sex partners, higher STD recurrence, and delayed health-seeking behavior. Multivariate comparisons found that abused adolescents were more likely to report pathologic genitourinary symptomatology than those who were not abused. Clinicians reported more abnormal physical exams but did not make any more presumptive diagnoses of PID for abused than nonabused adolescents. CONCLUSIONS: Delayed treatment for PID dramatically worsens future fertility and chronic pelvic pain. These findings demonstrate that abused adolescent women are at high risk for PID. Because of its considerable impact on risk for PID, an assessment for abuse is essential in clinical management of adolescent women with STD and diagnosis of PID.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners|
|State||Published - Jun 2005|
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