The Prevalence of Torture and Associated Symptoms in United States Iraqi Refugees

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Tuesday, July 7th to Wednesday, September 30th

Please join us in an online, open forum on telehealth. NCB is providing an opportunity for clinicians to ask each other questions, share observations and adapted telehealth protocols for the SoT population via an online forum and technical exchange. This conversation will be a forum for peer-led informational exchange. NCB staff will assist in facilitating and monitoring the conversation.

Directions: Please watch Eugene Augusterfer’s presentation and interview Telemedicine in Mental Health first. Then feel free to join us in this open forum. All are welcome to join this forum, whether you have an account on Healtorture.org or not. For more information on using the forum, please read the directions on the first post. Please keep your comments respectful, relevant, factual, and do not share identifying information about clients per client privacy and HIPAA regulations. This forum will be open from July 6, 2020 through September 30, 2020.

This article is by Dr. Mara Rabin of UHHR and Dr. Cynthia Willard.

Iraqi refugees face difficulties resettling in the US, which may be partially due to high rates of torture. This study determines the rates of torture experience, primary and secondary, among Iraqi refugees in the US; and the association to physical and mental health symptoms on arrival. A retrospective review was conducted in 2011 on the post-arrival health screens of Iraqi refugees resettled in Utah in 2008 and 2009. Measures included reports of torture experience as defined by the United Nations; reports of physical and mental health symptoms at the time of screening; and association of torture to the presence of symptoms on arrival. The study included the health screens of 497 (97 %) of eligible Iraqi refugees. Most experienced torture (56 %) before arrival in the US Logistic regression revealed that torture was the most significant predictor of mental illness symptoms. Iraqi refugees in the US have a high prevalence of torture, and torture is associated with the presence of both mental and physical symptoms on the post-arrival health screen. This information is critical to the development of successful resettlement strategies for Iraqi refugees.

Full article available for purchase at the link below, or see the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health at your local library.

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