School-based education programmes for the prevention of child sexual abuse

Walsh, Kerryann, Zwi, Karen, Woolfenden, Susan, & Shlonsky, Aron (2015) School-based education programmes for the prevention of child sexual abuse. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2015(4), Art. No.: CD004380.

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Child sexual abuse is a significant global problem in both magnitude and sequelae. The most widely used primary prevention strategy has been the provision of school-based education programmes. Although programmes have been taught in schools since the 1980s, their effectiveness requires ongoing scrutiny.


To systematically assess evidence of the effectiveness of school-based education programmes for the prevention of child sexual abuse. Specifically, to assess whether: programmes are effective in improving students’ protective behaviours and knowledge about sexual abuse prevention; behaviours and skills are retained over time; and participation results in disclosures of sexual abuse, produces harms, or both.

Search methods

In September 2014, we searched CENTRAL, OvidMEDLINE, EMBASE and 11 other databases.We also searched two trials registers and screened the reference lists of previous reviews for additional trials.

Selection criteria

We selected randomised controlled trials (RCTs), cluster-RCTs, and quasi-RCTs of school-based education interventions for the prevention of child sexual abuse compared with another intervention or no intervention.

Data collection and analysis

Two review authors independently assessed the eligibility of trials for inclusion, extracted data, and assessed risk of bias.We summarised data for six outcomes: protective behaviours; knowledge of sexual abuse or sexual abuse prevention concepts; retention of protective behaviours over time; retention of knowledge over time; harm; and disclosures of sexual abuse. School-

Impact and interest:

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4 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 83858
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: child sexual abuse, prevention, school-based, systematic review, meta-analysis, protective behaviours, personal safety education, child protection education, body safety, child sexual abuse prevention education
DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004380.pub3
ISSN: 1469-493X
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Children & Youth Research Centre
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright © 2015 The Cochrane Collaboration
Deposited On: 05 May 2015 05:14
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2017 16:02

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