The charts of 100 nonpsychotic female patients in a psychiatric
emergency room were reviewed to locate references to history of sexual
molestation: 50 charts were selected at random from emergency room files,
and 50 charts had been written by clinicians asked to query abuse history.
A substantially higher rate of sexual abuse was found for patients who had
been directly asked about sexual molestation (70%) than for the random
sample (6%). Further analysis linked molestation history to suicidality,
substance abuse, sexual difficulties, multiple psychiatric diagnoses, and
axis II traits or disorders--especially borderline personality. Severe
abuse and multiple abusers best predicted psychiatric sequelae.