Self-Collection Following Rape: An Integrative Literature Review

Self-Collection Following Rape: An Integrative Literature Review


  • Patricia M Speck University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Rachell A. Ekroos
  • Diana K. Faugno
  • Jennifer L. Johnson
  • Valerie Sievers
  • Stacey A. Mitchell



rape kit self-collection, sensitive test self-collection, integrative review, integrative literature review, rape, person-centered care, trauma-informed care


The forensic nurse purports a trauma informed and person-centered approach, focusing on the health needs of the patient with a rape experience. Timing of evidence collection recently expanded, but with passing time, DNA detection decreases. One solution proposed for victims is to self-collect following rape. The concept of self-collection was viewed as controversial, evoking mixed provider reactions. To bring clarity to issues faced by victims in remote and rural areas, and for those not ready to report, an integrative literature review method targeted strengths and gaps in evidence necessary for perspective before action or reaction to the post-rape self-collection proposal. The integrative literature review explored PubMed, responsive article citations, and gray literature for publications with systematic- or meta-analysis about self-collection. One article was responsive for self-collection post-rape, so parallel literature about sensitive self-collected testing was used. Analysis identified four areas of consideration: the patient, the medical forensic provider, the evidence, and the system. The authors identified strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to patients wishing to participate or not in the adjudication of the crimes against them. The authors found gaps in the evidence about rape self-collection and found significant evidence in the self-collection of sensitive tests in the literature that concluded self-collection post-rape is a viable option when instructions meet or exceed the current practices of the forensic nurse responding to rape victims today.

Author Biography

Patricia M Speck, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Patricia M. Speck was a three-time graduate of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) College of Nursing with a focus on Public Health and Advanced Forensic Nursing. Currently, Dr. Speck is a Professor and Coordinator of Advanced Forensic Nursing. She has international recognition as a Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner and Advanced Forensic Nurse, consulting with the US Department of Justice and Department of State as a subject matter expert in nurse practitioner care and advanced forensics nursing care of patients intersecting with the legal system. She is the current President (2022-24) of the Forensic Nursing Certification Board. Her research focuses on violence and trauma, is used to support national standards of practice, contributes to global protocols, and frames policy for vulnerable populations. Dr. Speck has received over 25 awards, including fellowships from the Academy of Forensic Nursing, International Association of Forensic Nurses, American Academy of Forensic Science, and the American Academy of Nursing, receiving the Lifetime Achievement from End Violence Against Women, International.




How to Cite

Speck, P. M., Ekroos, R. A., Faugno, D. K., Johnson, J. L., Sievers, V., & Mitchell, S. A. (2023). Self-Collection Following Rape: An Integrative Literature Review: Self-Collection Following Rape: An Integrative Literature Review. Journal of the Academy of Forensic Nursing, 1(1), 18–41.