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Anadolu Psikiyatri Derg. 2011; 12(3): 221-225

The forensic cases applied to an education and research hospital’s child psychiatry department

Sezen Köse, Zeynep Aslan, Ş. Senem Başgül, Seylan Şahin, Şebnem Yılmaz, Serhat Çıtak, A. Ertan Tezcan.

Objective: The stressful experiences, especially sexual abuse, damage the child’s psychology, mental health and quality of life. Forensic psychiatric evaluation includes the expertness, provides information for judicial decision and also is important to diagnose the psychiatric disorder of the child and protect him. Because of these reasons we were aimed to examine the characteristics of children applied to our department for criminal report. Methods: The files of 73 cases aged 4-18 years have been examined retrospectively who referred to Erenkoy Psychiatry Hospital Child Psychiatry Outpatient Department between January 2007 and December 2009 for criminal reports. Beside the sociodemographic characteristics, psychopathology, intelligence levels and crime characteristics of these children were also examined. Results: The prosecutor’s request was the evaluation of the psychiatric status in 86.3% of cases. Eighty-nine percent (65 cases) of 73 cases were applied for evaluation after sexual abuse. The rates of psychiatric diagnoses in sexually abused children were 32.3% posttraumatic stress disorder, 20% adjustment disorders, 16.9% acute stress disorder, 13.8% depressive disorders. We did not find any active psychiatric disorder in 16.9% of the cases. Intelligence Quotient were normal in 64.6% of the cases (n=42). 56.6% of the sexual offenders were acquaintance (9 incest cases-13.8%), 17% were friend-related people, 26.4% were stranger, 20.4 % were under 18 years of age. Discussion: The psychiatric evaluation after sexual abuse was the most frequent request of the prosecutors’. 83.1% of the children had active psychiatric disorders that were evaluated because of sexual abuse. The most common diagnosis was posttraumatic stress disorder and this result is consistent with earlier findings. It is clear that stressful experiences especially sexually abuse damage the child’s psychology, mental health and quality of life.

Key words: childhood sexual abuse, forensic evaluation, psychiatric diagnosis

Article Language: Turkish English

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