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Review: insufficient evidence on the effectiveness of interventions to prevent child sexual abuse in individuals at risk of abusing

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Question: Are psychological or pharmacological interventions effective for preventing child sexual abuse in known abusers and individuals at risk of abusing?

Outcomes: Conviction on charges of sexual offences against children (including possession of child pornography), arrest by police on suspicion of the same offences, breach of conditions while serving a sentence for sexual offending and self-reported child sexual abuse.


Design: Systematic review.

Data sources: PubMed (NLM), PsycInfo (EBSCO), National Criminal Justice Reference Service Abstracts (EBSCO), Cochrane Library and the Campbell Library were searched up to June 2013, supplemented by manual search of reference lists, books and websites.

Study selection and analysis: Randomised controlled trials (RCT) and prospective observation studies (cohorts or case controls) of adult or adolescent perpetrators or potential perpetrators of child sexual abuse, or of children with sexual behaviour problems. Psychologists and psychiatrists with expertise in sexual abuse and offending reviewed eligible studies for inclusion, and evidence was combined using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach. Eligible studies …

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  • Sources of funding The Swedish Government, Department of Social Affairs.


  • Competing interests None.

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