Published research

Diagnoses of sexual abuse and their common registered co-morbidities in the total population of Stockholm
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 2017


In this study, we looked at people who had a diagnoses of sexual abuse registered in the healthcare system and their most common registered comorbidities. The data was based on all children and adults who lived in Stockholm between 2008 and 2014. It was found that the incidence of stress-related illnesses, anxiety, and substance abuse was more than 10 times higher for a person who had a sexual abuse diagnosis registered in the healthcare system. 


Health care consumption among adolescent girls prior to diagnoses of sexual abuse, a case–control study in the Stockholm Region
European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 2019


Here we conducted a further study into healthcare consumption among girls aged 12-17 (who were the most vulnerable group in the study above) one and two years before a sexual assault was registered in the healthcare system. We conducted this study because we know that children rarely tell about abuse, and that abuse affects health, and we wanted to know if there were patterns that could enable these girls to be identified and helped earlier. Among other things, it was 15 times more common for these girls to seek medical care due to suicide attempts than other peers in the same residential area, they sought medical care much more often than peers, and it was almost 10 times as common for them to receive medication for anxiety and sleep problems. One conclusion from the study is that there is a need for increased knowledge in Swedish healthcare about how to identify and treat young people who have been exposed to or are at risk of being subjected to sexual abuse.


Health care consumption and psychiatric diagnoses among adolescent girls 1 and 2 years after a first-time registered child sexual abuse experience: a cohort study in the Stockholm Region European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 2020


Here we examined what happened one and two years after the health service had registered that sexual abuse had occurred in the girls from the previous study. We wanted to know whether the health service could reduce the risk of suicide attempts when there was knowledge of sexual abuse. It was found that the healthcare system could not reduce the risk of suicide attempts. Instead, the risk of these girls seeking medical care due to suicide attempts rose to 26 times higher than for girls of the same age in the same residential area. One conclusion was that there is a need for increased knowledge and understanding of which interventions and processes in healthcare improve or impair health and well-being, and increase or decrease the risk of suicide attempts and suicide among young people who have been sexually abused.


A One-Session Treatment of PTSD After Single Sexual Assault Trauma. A Pilot Study of the WONSA MLI Project: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Journal of Interpersonal Violence 2020


This study used a new PTSD protocol, based on Lifespan Integration, to treat PTSD after rape. 70% of participants lost their PTSD diagnosis after two hours of treatment, and the results persisted after 6 months. One conclusion was that new perspectives on PTSD and PTSD treatment may shorten the treatment time for PTSD after rape. The study is a pilot study and larger studies are planned.

Here you can find the study protocol and below are some of the comments from reviewers:

 "Strong design for a pilot study and I appreciate the decision to examine a single session intervention specifically for individuals with a single traumatic event in the relatively recent past."

"The findings are promising and have potentially very important implications for the field"

"The possible explanations of the efficacy of MLI section is incredibly interesting"


Lifespan Integration is a protocol-based psychotherapeutic treatment method that through structured work with different timelines, among other things, can help the brain to anchor and integrate traumatic memories. WONSA recently published the first randomized treatment study on Lifespan Integration for the treatment of PTSD after rape. A protocol called Modified Lifespan Integration (MLI) was used in the study. Several studies are planned around the world, both on this protocol and on protocols for other psychiatric diagnoses.

Our experience indicates that the method is powerful. Special training is needed to be able to perform the method safely, despite its seemingly simple procedures. For this reason, we have chosen not to have the manual on our website. If you want to read it, you can contact us via


Delayed healthcare access among victims of sexual abuse, understood through internal and external gatekeeping mechanisms
Nordic Journal of Psychiatry 2021


This study analyzed the symptoms, diagnoses and types of abuse that occurred among patients seeking help at WONSA's specialist clinic, as well as how they experienced access to healthcare. We found that:

  • the majority of patients have been subjected to penetrating abuse in childhood
  • 80% have tried to seek help at other clinics before coming to WONSA
  • 90% met the criteria for PTSD and / or depression when they came to WONSA, regardless of whether they had contact with another healthcare provider before coming to WONSA
  • the average time between the first abuse and the patient reporting the abuse to someone for the first time was 16 years
  • the average number of diagnoses when enrolling at WONSA was 6 diagnoses
  • the factors that were most strongly linked to suicide attempts were:

    1. number of ACEs
    2. number of perpetrators, and
    3. whether the biological father was the first perpetrator


The study also presented a gatekeeping model for how knowledge of factors that prevent or facilitate access to care for victims of sexual abuse can be used to evaluate access to care for this group of patients. You can find it here