Sensory functions in the foot soles in victims of generalized torture, in victims also beaten under the feet (falanga) and in healthy controls – A blinded study using quantitative sensory testing

Prip, Karen, Persson, Ann L & Bengt H Sjölund, Bengt H. (2012). BMC International Health and Human Rights12:39

Link is to full article, available for free.

Pain when walking: individual sensory profiles in the foot soles of torture victims - a controlled study using quantitative sensory testing

Prip K(1), Persson AL, Sjölund BH. BMC Int Health Hum Rights. 2012 Dec 31;12:40. doi: 10.1186/1472-698X-12-40.

Study testing sensory function of the foot soles between groups of torture victims with or without exposure to falanga (beatings under the feet). Compared to matched controls the torture victims had hyperalgesia to deep mechano-nociceptive stimuli and hypoesthesia to non-noxious cutaneous stimuli.

Link is to full article, available for free.

Clinical findings in men with chronic pain after falanga torture

Prip K(1), Persson AL. Clin J Pain. 2008 Feb;24(2):135-41. doi: 10.1097/AJP.0b013e31815aac36.

Study examining torture survivors vs control group for pain and gait changes as sequelae to falanga. The torture victims had pain in their feet and lower legs and a compensated gait pattern, usually with severe pain during walking. Reduced light touch and thermal sensation, tactile dysesthesia, allodynia, and tenderness on palpation were common findings. Structural changes in the feet were found in more than half of the victims, but did not correlate with pain reports.

Link is to abstract only; full

The diagnostic value of clinical examination after falanga

Amris K(1), Rasmussen OV, Baykal T, Lök V. Torture. 2009;19(1):5-11.

Medico-legal documentation of alleged exposure to falanga torture warrants a high diagnostic accuracy of the applied clinical tests. The objective of this study was to establish data on the validity of palpatory examination of the footpads and the plantar fascia and to assess the distribution of observations among selected cases and non-cases in a small study sample.

Clinical performance diagnosing alleged exposure to falanga

Torp-Pedersen S(1), Matteoli S, Wilhjelm JE, Amris K, Bech JI, Christensen R, Danneskiold-Samsøe B. Torture. 2009;19(1):19-26.

This article shares the results of a test performed to determine how accurate investigators are in determining whether a heel pad model is soft, medium or hard. (Reduced elasticity in the heel pads has been reported as a characteristic sequela of falanga.) This test used nine samples tested by two blinded experienced investigators, and found that investigators were able to identify three known elasticities correctly in approximately two-thirds of the cases.

Falanga torture: Characteristic features and diagnostic issues

Byard RW, Singh B. Forensic Sci Med Pathol. 2012 Sep;8(3):320-2. doi: 10.1007/s12024-011-9298-6. Epub 2011 Nov 22.

Forensic case study of man who was subjected to falanga and died en route to hospital. "In conclusion, falanga represents a very specific and localized form of torture that may be identified acutely, as in the reported case, by swelling and bruising of the feet, but which in the long term may be more difficult to diagnose due to the non-specificity of findings."

Full text of this article is available free to members of ResearchGate. ResearchGate membership is also free.

Training Cambodian Village Health Support Guides in Diabetes Prevention: Effects on Guides' Knowledge and Teaching Activities Over 6 Months

Wagner JKeuky LFraser-King LKuoch TScully M.

Published in International Journal of Behavioral Medicine,April 2016.

Type 2 diabetes is a pressing public health concern in Cambodia, a country with limited human resource capacity due to genocide. Cambodian village health support guides (Guides) promote health at the local level.

The curriculum, called Eat, Walk, Sleep was delivered to Guides in Siem Reap province once over 3 h. Participants completed a pretest and posttest on diabetes knowledge.

Diabetes Prevention through Village Health Support Guides in Cambodia: A Qualitative Investigation of Opportunities and Challenges

Julie Wagner, Lim Keuky, Lorraine Fraser-King, Theanvy Kuoch, and Mary Scully

Published in Journal of Community Medicine & Health Education April 2015.

Click on the link below for full text or .pdf of the article


Objectives: Lifestyle modification can prevent type II diabetes. Rates of diabetes are high in Cambodia. The Cambodian genocide and its aftermath resulted in destruction of the healthcare system and a critical shortage in the Cambodian healthcare workforce.

Trauma, healthcare access, and health outcomes among Southeast Asian refugees in Connecticut

Wagner J, Burke G, Kuoch T, Scully M, Armeli S, Rajan TV.

Published in Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health December 2013.


Mental health problems among Southeast Asian refugees have been documented. However, longer term health consequences of mass violence as re-settled refugees age are less well described. This study investigated relationships among trauma symptoms, self-reported health outcomes, and barriers to healthcare among Cambodian and Vietnamese persons in Connecticut.

Pulse pressure in Cambodian Americans: relationships to weight and mental health

Wagner J, Rajan TV, Kuoch T, Scully M.

Published in Journal of Immigrant Minority Health December 2013.


Few studies have explored interrelationships among mental health and health status in refugees using objective, clinical data. Pulse pressure (PP) has recently emerged as an easily obtained, strong, independent determinant of mortality. We conducted a chart review of electronic records for 24 consecutive months to investigate PP among Cambodian refugees receiving services at a community clinic in Connecticut, USA.


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