PT

Physical Therapy/Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy (Physical Therapy: these terms will be used interchangeably on this website) is a growing field in the area of torture survivor treatment. Survivors of torture are often affected by chronic pain and by difficulty in carrying out functional activities.
 
Research carried out by Dignity-Danish Institute Against Torture suggests that up to 80% of torture survivors could benefit from receiving physiotherapy. A worldwide survey of torture treatment centers carried out by the Center for Victims of Torture staff shows that a majority of clients receive physical therapy 51% of the time

Examination by the Physiotherapist

Amris, K. & Prip, K. (1994). Torture Quarterly Journal on Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Prevention of Torture, Suppl. 1, 14-27.
 
This article was reviewed by Angela Pitar, doctoral physical therapy student at the University of Minnesota, 2014. 
 
The link to the full text of the article from Dignity-Danish Institute Against Torture is below.
 
Purpose - the purpose of physical therapy is to reduce pain, improve function, and educate patients on how to cope with pain.

Physical Therapy for Survivors of Torture

Description

Some specialized torture treatment centers have observed benefits among their patients from physical treatment modalities such as physical therapy or massage. Primary care or other clinics treating torture survivors may also consider such interventions when addressing complaints of chronic pain and physical symptoms.  Because torture is usually directed in part toward the physical being of the victim, attention to the body can be especially therapeutic, both emotionally and physically.

Children, torture and psychological consequences

Alayarian, A. (2009). Torture: Journal of Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Prevention of Torture, 19(2), 145-156.
 
Impact of torture on children may vary depending on the child’s coping strategies, cultural and social circumstances. In this paper the author gives a brief introduction of the work the Refugee Therapy Center does with children, discusses the effects of torture on children and presents a vignette and some examples of clinical intervention.

* The International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT)’s Journal on Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Prevention of

The Treatment of Chronic Pain in Survivors of Torture and Refugee Trauma: an Integrative Approach

Webinar Summary and Resources

This webinar focuses on the potential alleviation of torture-induced chronic pain through alternative medicine and techniques. While the webinar is intended for medical professionals, it is accessible to a wider audience as well. After establishing that western conceptions both of pain and the necessity of pharmaceutical or surgical treatment are not universal, the webinar elaborates on a series of alternative medicines that have clinically and anecdotally been shown to be helpful.

THI Part 3 of 3: Family and Patient Support: New Approaches to Fostering Dialogue and Hope

In the 1950's Dr. Ettinger and later in the 1980s Goldfeld and Mollica identified Traumatic Head Injury (THI)/leading to Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) as a common and severe sequelae of trauma and other forms of external violence. THI/TBI is now likely recognized as the signature injury in American combat troops returning from the wars in the Middle East. Yet THI/TBI related to medical and psychiatric problems are difficult to diagnose and treat even in specialized clinics for survivors of torture and combat veterans.

Don't miss the other two parts of this webinar series!

History and Evidence of

THI Part 2 of 3: Screening for Traumatic Head Injury in a Basic Clinic Setting

Don't miss the other two parts of this webinar series!

History and Evidence of Traumatic Head Injury (THI): Basic Concepts and Principles in the Care of Torture Survivors with THI (THI Part 1 of 3)

Family and Patient Support: New Approaches to Fostering Dialogue and Hope (THI Part 3 of 3)

In the 1950's Dr. Ettinger and later in the 1980s Goldfeld and Mollica identified Traumatic Head Injury (THI)/leading to Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) as a common and severe sequelae of trauma and other forms of external violence.

THI Part 1 of 3: History and Evidence of Traumatic Head Injury (THI): Basic Concepts and Principles in the Care of Torture Survivors with THI

Don't miss the other two parts of this webinar series!

Screening for Traumatic Head Injury in a Basic Clinic Setting (THI Part 2 of 3)

Family and Patient Support: New Approaches to Fostering Dialogue and Hope (THI Part 3 of 3)

In the 1950's Dr. Ettinger and later in the 1980s Goldfeld and Mollica identified Traumatic Head Injury (THI)/leading to Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) as a common and severe sequelae of trauma and other forms of external violence. THI/TBI is now likely recognized as the signature injury in American combat troops returning from the wars in the Middle East.

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.

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