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Medical

Survivors of torture often present for care in medical settings, and sometimes in torture treatment programs.  The medical portion of HealTorture.org is primarily, but not exclusively, geared to primary care providers (PCPs) which includes family doctors, internists, nurse practitioners and physician assistants.  Other staff members in medical settings such as nurses and medical assistants can also facilitate survivors’ healing.  Survivors frequently present to gynecologists (due to genital trauma, pelvic pain etc), cardiologists (persistent chest pain), gastroenterologists (persistent abdominal pain) and neurologists (intractable headaches and history of traumatic brain injury). Many survivors have gotten great relief of symptoms from physical therapists and practitioners of yoga and Traditional Chinese Medicine. 

Some of the linked articles will appear in more than one section.

See the menu to the right to navigate this portion of HealTorture.org.

"roles and responsibilities for physicians, psychiatrists, and nurses who are helping torture survivors reduce trauma symptoms and rebuild their lives in the United States... include education, documentation, assessment, treatment, referral, research, and advocacy."


From Healing the Hurt, Chapter 5

Articles

A Handshake

By Kenneth J Woodside, MD.

Anecdotal account of a doctor meeting a torture survivor, and how his perceptions of the patient change as he learns about his injuries and experiences.

Advocacy for Refugees

Katz, Chloe. NC Medical Journal, March/April 2009, Volume 70, No. 2. pp 153-154

In order to appropriately address the acute and long-term health issues of refugees arriving in North Carolina, physicians will be required to augment their current understanding of cultural competency to include topics of conflict-related violence and psychological evaluation.

Chapter 5: Medical Services

This chapter is a resource for physicians and nurses working with or planning services for torture survivors. Preceding chapters outline the purpose of torture and common torture methods. This chapter reviews the long-term effects of torture and describes roles and responsibilities for physicians, psychiatrists, and nurses who are helping torture survivors reduce trauma symptoms and rebuild their lives in the United States. These roles and responsibilities include education, documentation, assessment, treatment, referral, research, and advocacy.

Health Promotion for Torture and Trauma Survivors

This guide, from the Florida Center for Survivors of Torture (FCST) and the National Partnership for Community Training (NPCT), increases awareness regarding the impact that traumatic life experiences places on the health of individuals.

The science and politics of rehabilitating torture survivors: An overview

Jaranson J.M. (1998). In: Jaranson J.M., Popkin, Michael K., eds. Caring for Victims of Torture (15-40). Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Press.

Link is to full chapter available for free.