Chronic pain in torture victims

Torture is widely practiced throughout the world. Recent studies indicate that 50% of all countries, including 79% of the G-20 countries, continue to practice systematic torture despite a universal ban. It is well known that torture has numerous physical, psychological, and pain-related sequelae that can inflict a devastating and enduring burden on its victims. Health care professionals, particularly those who specialize in the treatment of chronic pain, have an obligation to better understand the physical and psychological effects of torture. This review highlights the epidemiology, classification, pain sequelae, and clinical treatment guidelines of torture victims. In addition, the role of pharmacologic and psychologic interventions is explored in the context of rehabilitation.

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