Usefulness: Forensic photo documentation after sexual assault

Academic Article


  • The forensic medical legal evaluation following sexual assault establishes evidence for law enforcement's investigation and criminal prosecution by the legal system. The sexual assault nurse examiner performs the forensic evaluation and uses digital photography to document physical injuries after sexual assault. Photographs have varying degrees of usefulness, but for a photograph to be useful, it must exhibit technical elements for the viewer. There was no tool available to evaluate the usefulness of digital photographs taken during forensic evaluation of genital injuries after sexual assault. The Photo Documentation Image Quality Scoring System (PDIQSS) tool was developed to rate photographic technical elements for usefulness. Using this tool, three experts on two separate occasions evaluated a series of digital photographs taken following sexual assault. The PDIQSS tool predicted usefulness in digital photography of female genital injuries following sexual assault when measured in all dimensions. © 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Ernst EJ; Speck PM; Fitzpatrick JJ
  • Start Page

  • 29
  • End Page

  • 38
  • Volume

  • 33
  • Issue

  • 1