Presentation Information

Stephanie Tillman

Trauma-Informed Pelvic Care In the Time of COVID-19

Abstract:

The framework of trauma-informed care first emerged in the 1990s, proposed by sexual assault survivors as a structure for safe engagement with healthcare institutions and providers. Decades later, this approach to intimate care continues to exist more in theory than in standard practice. Exceptionalized circumstances in obstetrics and gynecology, such as the first pelvic exam, care for patients with a known history of sexual assault, or care for queer communities, often embody the ideals of trauma-informed care that could easily be extrapolated to all care interactions. The importance of intentionality in intimate care, including consent processes as well as physical touch, is all the more critical given publicized cases of providers physically and sexually assaulting patients. Further, as COVID-19 continues to affect individuals and communities worldwide, trauma now touches every person’s life in new and challenging ways. This holds the opportunity to facilitate a connected empathy between patients and providers, and thus a new possibility to integrate trauma-informed care into practice. This presentation will review the framework of trauma-informed care, detail best practices for pelvic care, discuss the impact of COVID-19 on intimate examinations, and challenge providers to modify current practices in order to create safe environments for empowering healthcare experiences.

Live Presentation Schedule

Feb 1, 2021