Study evaluates new method for preventing sexual assaults on children
There are currently virtually no treatments with a scientifically proven effect on individuals in the risk zone for committing sexual assaults on children. However, the researchers behind a unique new study being launched at the Centre for Andrology and Sexual Medicine at Karolinska University Hospital now hope to be able to change this.
“We are investigating whether a new fast-acting medication reduces the risk of men who are sexually attracted to children committing assaults,” explains Christoffer Rahm, who has main responsibility for the study.
The study participants have not previously been known for or convicted of sex crimes, but have sought help themselves for their sexual orientation patterns via the national PrevenTell helpline (www.preventell.se). It is now being investigated for the first time whether preventive medication can reduce the risk of someone committing assaults on children. This is being studied via a randomised, controlled trial, a format with high explanatory value. If the medication has a risk-reducing effect and few side-effects, it may change how individuals in the risk zone are treated.
“In addition to the pharmaceutical trial, neuropsychological tests, blood sampling and MR brain scans are also being carried out to improve our knowledge about the causes of sexual attraction to children,” continues Christoffer. “The medical-ethical dilemma that arises in this type of research is also being studied.”
About the study
- The Priotab study (Paedophilia at risk – Investigations of treatment and biomarkers) has been approved by the Research Ethics Committee and includes participants from March 2016 onwards. The participants will then be monitored very closely during the three-year study period.
- To date, the research has been financed by the Swedish Society for Medical Research, the Swedish Society of Medicine, the Fredrik and Inga Thuring Foundation and grants provided by Stockholm County Council. A crowdfunding campaign will also be launched during the spring.
Christoffer Rahm, main responsibility for the study, Department of Medicine, Huddinge, Karolinska Institutet, Consultant, Psychiatry Southwest, Stockholm Health Care Services, Stockholm, Tel.: +46 (0)70 001 14 57 (NB 7-8 April: +44 (0)742 324 17 69), e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stefan Arver, research group leader and group leader for the Centre for Andrology and Sexual Medicine, Karolinska University Hospital, Department of Medicine, Huddinge, Karolinska Institutet, Consultant, Endocrinology Clinic, Tel.: +46 (0)70 593 49 61, e-mail: email@example.com
Klas Östman, press relations manager, Karolinska University Hospital, Tel: +46 70- 450 77 97
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