Today there is increased awareness around the long-term consequences of physical, mental, and emotional abuse. Medically necessary radiologic procedures routinely administered to cancer patients often mimic experiences of those who have suffered abuse and can lead to retraumatization. Triggers include feeling powerless, being immobilized and told to remain silent, exposing intimate body parts, laying in darkness, and being inflicted with pain. The WHO estimates sexual violence affects one-third of women worldwide and reports of childhood abuse rates in medical populations range from 22%-44%. One representative US study reported 45% of patients in a primary care clinic had suffered some childhood adversity, 41.2% of children and youth had experienced physical assault in the past year, and 11% of girls age 14-17 had experienced sexual abuse during that time. Given that more than 17 million people worldwide are diagnosed with cancer every year, if only 30% have exposure to past traumatic stressors, five million people annually may view their cancer experience through the emotional lens of prior trauma. Abuse survivors can make up a meaningful portion of the oncology population, with radiological procedures having a particular impact on breast, gynecology, prostate, colorectal, anal, head and neck, brain and CNS patients. This presentation aims to create awareness and advocate for the integration of trauma-informed care. Attendees will understand the incidence of abuse in clinical populations, the risk of retraumatization during radiologic procedures, and learn SAMHSA's Six Principles of Trauma-Informed Care. Relaxation techniques to ease the procedure experience for patients will be demonstrated and practiced.
- Discuss the incidence of abuse in clinical populations
- Identify the risk of retraumatization during routine diagnostic/treatment radiologic procedures
- Outline SAMHSA's Six Principles of Trauma-Informed Care
- Explain anxiolytic mind-body techniques to ease the experience for at-risk patients
This presentation is sponsored by the Department of Radiation Oncology Equity & Wellness Committee