Letsel: Assessment of abuse-related injuries: A comparative study of forensic physicians, emergency room physicians, emergency room nurses and medical students, JFLM 2008


Authors: Udo J.L. Reijnders, Georgios F. Giannakopoulos, Kim H. de Bruin.


A comparative study was made investigating whether emergency room physicians, emergency room nurses, forensic physicians, and interns are competent in describing, recognising and determining the possible cause of injuries.

The injury assessment scores varied from good–adequate–fail and remained blank in various participant groups.

Forensic physicians scored significantly better than emergency room staff and interns in the assessment of abuse-related injuries. There were almost no differences noted between emergency room physicians and emergency room nurses. For the functional group with more or less than 4 to 6 years of experience, no significant differences were noted for scoring good in all 5 cases.

The fact that forensic physicians scored better than the emergency room staff is probably explained by the fact that almost all practicing forensic physicians have been officially qualified. Training in this field for all professionals involved in such assessment should be mandatory.