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Publication from the RISE Pilot (2020 to 2023)

Journal of Traumatic Stress, Volume 36, Issue 6

Acceptability of a smartphone-based intervention targeting anxiety sensitivity among women receiving emergency care after sexual assault: A pilot uncontrolled trial

October 5, 2023 ● Survivors of recent sexual assault reported that RISE Guide, a CBT-based web application, is acceptable and helpful.


Publications from the Women’s Health Study (2014 to 2020)

We completed data collection for the Women’s Health Study in 2020, and continue to publish impactful research from the results of this 5-year, 706-participant study on experiences and health outcomes of sexual assault survivors.

Journal of Psychiatric Research, Volume 174

Development of a brief bedside tool to screen women sexual assault survivors for risk of persistent posttraumatic stress six months after sexual assault

June 2024 ● This brief, eight-item risk stratification tool consists of easy-to-collect information and, if validated, may be useful for clinical trial enrichment and/or patient screening.


JACEP OPEN, Volume 2, Issue 4

“I still feel so lost”: Experiences of women receiving SANE care during the year after sexual assault

July 3, 2021 ● Female patients who had been sexually assaulted and who were evaluated at 13 widely geographically distributed sexual assault nurse examiners’ programs consistently reported that the sexual assault nurse examiners provided high-quality, compassionate care.


Journal of Emergency Nursing, Volume 47, Issue 3

Perceived care quality among women receiving sexual assault nurse examiner care: Results from a 1-week postexamination survey in a large multisite prospective Study

May 2021 ● Qualitative analyses of open‐ended responses from a large cohort of women sexual assault survivors receiving SANE care highlight the challenges for survivors and can increase understanding among the emergency care practitioners who care for them.


Depression and Anxiety, Volume 38, Issue 1

Health care utilization by women sexual assault survivors after emergency care: Results of a multisite prospective study

January 2021 ● Most women receiving emergency care after sexual assault experience substantial posttraumatic sequelae, but health care in the 6 weeks after assault is uncommon, unrelated to substantive differences in need, and limited in socially disadvantaged groups. Lack of disclosure to primary care providers was common among women who did receive care.


Journal of Traumatic Stress, Volume 33, Issue 6

Anxiety sensitivity prospectively predicts increased acute posttraumatic stress and related symptoms after sexual assault

November 11, 2020 ● In a subsample of 48 women sexual assault survivors enrolled as part of a larger prospective observational study, elevated anxiety sensitivity measured via a brief assessment 1 week after experiencing a sexual assault was concurrently associated with PTSS at 1 week and prospectively predicted PTSS 6 weeks after the event, with small-to-medium effect sizes.


Biological Psychiatry, Volume 87, Issue 9, Supplement

Psychological and physical morbidity of sexual assault among adult women students [Abstract]

May 1, 2020 ● Adverse physical and mental health outcomes are common among women students who are sexually assaulted. Further studies are needed which evaluate longitudinal health, academic, and career outcomes of women students experiencing sexual assault.


Biological Psychiatry, Volume 87, Issue 9, Supplement

Peritraumatic circulating 17β-estradiol as a resiliency factor for chronic pain outcomes in women following trauma [Abstract]

May 1, 2020 ● Increased peritraumatic E2 levels predict improved CPMP outcomes in women.


Biological Psychiatry, Volume 87, Issue 9, Supplement

Peritraumatic anxiety sensitivity predicts posttraumatic stress symptoms after sexual assault [Abstract]

May 1, 2020 ● Anxiety sensitivity, or fear of anxious arousal, has been shown to predict posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) after campus shootings and analogue traumas. Sexual assault disproportionately impacts women and often results in prolonged PTSS.


Biological Psychiatry, Volume 87, Issue 9, Supplement

Pain in the immediate aftermath of sexual assault and its relationship to physical trauma during assault [Abstract]

May 1, 2020 ● Pain after SA is a posttraumatic stress disorder.


Biological Psychiatry, Volume 87, Issue 9, Supplement

Peritraumatic stress symptoms partially mediate pain persistence after sexual assault [Abstract]

May 1, 2020 ● Peritraumatic stress symptoms in the early aftermath of sexual assault influence the transition from acute to persistent pain, particularly dysphoric arousal.


Biological Psychiatry, Volume 87, Issue 9, Supplement

Predictors of posttraumatic stress six months after sexual assault: Results of a large-scale, multi-site, prospective study [Abstract]

May 1, 2020 ● Identifying predictors of posttraumatic stress may help inform the development of preventive interventions for women who present for emergency care in the immediate aftermath of sexual assault. However, to date no large-scale, multi-site, prospective studies of SA survivors presenting for emergency care have been performed.


BMJ Open, Volume 9, Issue 1

Protocol for the first large-scale emergency care-based longitudinal cohort study of recovery after sexual assault: the Women’s Health Study

November 21, 2019 ● Women ≥18 years of age who present for emergency care within 72 hours of sexual assault to a network of treatment centres across the USA are approached for study participation. Blood DNA and RNA samples and brief questionnaire and medical record data are obtained from women providing initial consent. Full consent is obtained at initial 1 week follow-up to analyse blood sample data and to perform assessments at 1 week, 6 weeks, 6 months and 1 year.


Biological Psychiatry, Volume 85, Issue 10 Supplement, Supplement

Increased adverse childhood experiences predict worse acute pain and psychological symptoms after sexual assault [Abstract]

May 15, 2019 ● Increasing evidence suggests that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can result in enduring neurobiological changes that increase pain and psychological vulnerability. To date, the influence of ACEs on acute pain and psychological responses following sexual assault is unknown.


Biological Psychiatry, Volume 85, Issue 10 Supplement, Supplement

Sexual assault characteristics predict peritraumatic pain and posttraumatic stress responses [Abstract]

May 15, 2019 ● The association between sexual assault (SA) characteristics on acute pain and psychological responses following SA is unknown.


Journal of Neuroscience, Volume 38, Issue 39

A functional riboSNitch in the 3′ untranslated region of FKBP5 alters microRNA-320a binding efficiency and mediates vulnerability to chronic post-traumatic pain

September 26, 2018 ● Bioinformatic, in vitro, and mutational analyses indicate that the rs3800373 minor allele reduces the binding of a stress- and pain-associated microRNA, miR-320a, to FKBP5 via altering the FKBP5 mRNA 3′UTR secondary structure (i.e., is a riboSNitch).


Biological Psychiatry, Volume 83, Issue 9 Supplement

Most sexual assault survivors with significant posttraumatic stress do not receive mental health care in the initial weeks after assault [Abstract]

May 1, 2018 ● Little data exists regarding receipt of mental health care services by sexual assault survivors in the early aftermath of sexual assault.


Biological Psychiatry, Volume 83, Issue 9 Supplement

Psychological resilience following sexual assault predicts improved mental health outcomes [Abstract]

May 1, 2018 ● Sexual assault occurs to one in five US women and is associated with a range of adverse neuropsychiatric outcomes, including posttraumatic stress and depressive symptoms. Characteristics associated with increased psychological resilience in the early aftermath of sexual assault remain poorly understood.


Biological Psychiatry, Volume 83, Issue 9 Supplement

Use of HIV post-exposure prophylaxis among women sexual assault survivors is not sssociated with increased posttraumatic stress symptoms [Abstract]

May 1, 2018 ● To reduce HIV risk, post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is prescribed to some women sexual assault (SA) survivors who present for emergency care after SA. However, the use of HIV PEP, and/or accompanying medication side effects, may serve as reminders of the SA, augmenting posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS).


Western Journal of Emergency Medicine: Integrating Emergency Care with Population Health, Volume 18, Issue 6.1

Persistent adverse mental and physical health outcomes are common among women after sexual assault [Abstract]

September 2017 ● Adverse mental and physical health outcomes are common and morbid among sexual assault survivors. Future analyses will include the full participant sample and later follow-up time points.


Biological Psychology, Volume 81, Issue 10 Supplement

Strangulation during sexual assault predicts increased PTSD symptoms six weeks after assault [Abstract]

May 15, 2017 ● Strangulation-associated sexual assault, but not other sexual assault-related characteristics, predict increased posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms six weeks after assault.


Publications from the Women’s Health Pilot Study (2008 to 2011)

In order to assess the feasibility and challenges of building a multi-site network dedicated to improving the care provided to sexual assault survivors, a pilot study for the Women’s Health Study was undertaken from 2008 to 2011. Results from the pilot informed and supported the development of the Women’s Health Study in 2014.

Pain, Volume 18, Issue 2

Genetic variant rs3750625 in the 3’UTR of ADRA2A affects stress-dependent acute pain severity after trauma and alters a microRNA-34a regulatory site

February 2017 ● ADRA2A rs3750625 contributes to poststress musculoskeletal pain severity by modulating miR-34a regulation.


Pain, Volume 14, Issue 2

Genetic variant rs3750625 in the 3’UTR of Polymorphisms in the glucocorticoid receptor co-chaperone FKBP5 predict persistent musculoskeletal pain after traumatic stress exposure

August 2013 ● Glucocorticoid pathways influence the development of persistent posttraumatic pain, and that such pathways may be a target of pharmacologic interventions aimed at improving recovery after trauma.


Pain, Volume 14, Issue 2

μ-Opioid receptor gene A118G polymorphism predicts pain recovery after sexual assault

February 2013 ● Among 52 white American women SA survivors presenting for care within 48 hours of sexual assault, those with a G allele experienced less severe pain and a reduced extent of pain during the 6 weeks after sexual assault.