The Comprehensive Sexual Assault Assessment Tool (CSAAT)

Ann W. Burgess, RN, DNSc, APRN, FAAN and Jacqueline Fawcett,  RN, PhD, ScD (hon), FAAN, ANEF

The Comprehensive Sexual Assault Assessment Tool:  Variations and Uses of a Roy Adaptation Model-Based Assessment Tool (PDF file)

© 2019 Jacqueline Fawcett

The purposes of this paper are to explain the development of the Roy Adaptation Model-based Comprehensive Sexual Assault Assessment Tool (CSAAT), first published in 1995; to describe the use of the CSAAT and its variations, and to apply the CSAAT to two contemporary cases of sexual assault of women. Application of the CSAAT to the two women demonstrates how the concepts of the Roy Adaptation Model provide a comprehensive format for assessing the experiences of victims of sexual assault and facilitates identification of the level of adaptation attained by victims.

Note: This paper is shared by permission of the authors under the Creative Commons license to use or quote this material with attribution, noncommercial use.

About the Authors:

Ann Wolbert Burgess

Ann Wolbert Burgess, RN, D.N.Sc., APRN, FAAN received her baccalaureate degree in nursing from Boston University School of Nursing, her Master’s degree from the University of Maryland School of Nursing, and her DNSc from Boston University School of Nursing. She holds an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of San Diego. Dr. Burgess currently is a professor in the Connell School of Nursing at Boston College.

Dr. Burgess is an internationally recognized pioneer in the assessment and treatment of victims of trauma and abuse. She has received numerous honors including but not limited to the Sigma Theta Tau International Audrey Hepburn Award, the American Nurses’ Association Hildegard Peplau Award, the Sigma Theta Tau International Episteme Laureate Award and the American Academy of Nursing Living Legend award. Her courtroom testimony has been described as “groundbreaking,” and she has been called a “nursing pathfinder.”

Her research with victims began when she co-founded, with Boston College sociologist Lynda Lytle Holmstrom, one of the first hospital-based crisis counseling programs at Boston City Hospital. She then worked with FBI Academy special agents to study serial offenders, and the links between child abuse, juvenile delinquency, and subsequent perpetration. Her work with Boston College nursing colleague Carol Hartman led to the study of very young victims and the impact of trauma on their growth and development, their families and communities. Her work continues in the study of elder abuse in nursing homes, cyberstalking, and Internet sex crimes. She teaches courses in Victimology, Forensic Science, Forensic Mental Health, Case Studies in Forensics and Forensic Science Lab. Dr. Burgess is the author, co-author, or editor of numerous journal articles, book chapters, and books.

Jacqueline Fawcett

Jacqueline Fawcett is a professor in the Department of Nursing (Nursology) at the  University of Massachusetts Boston. Although she has conducted two major programs of research during her career, one guided by Rogers’ Science of Unitary Human Beings and the other guided by Roy’s Adaptation Model, her passion is meta-theory, that is, the nature and structure of knowledge in nursing.

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