Prospective one-year treatment outcomes of tortured refugees: a psychiatric approach.

John (Dave) Kinzie, J. Mark Kinzie, Behjat Sedighi, Abdella Woticha, Halima Mohamed, Crystal Riley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The treatment of torture survivors from diverse cultures has been a difficult task involving issues of loss, massive trauma, cultural style, and adjusting to a new country. Research on treatment outcomes has shown inconsistent results. This report presents a prospective one year treatment outcome of 22 severely tortured patients from Ethiopia, Somalia, Iran and Afghanistan. Treatment was provided by psychiatrists and counselors with interpreters from each culture involved. The specific treatment included psychiatric evaluation, medicine, education, supportive psychotherapy and assisting some social needs. All 22 were diagnosed with depression and 17 of these also had posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Twenty of 22 patients showed marked significant improvement on all of the scales for depression, PTSD, disability, and quality of life. Medicine was particularly useful in treating depression and the symptoms of flashbacks, nightmares and irritability. Standard psychiatric treatment with evaluation, diagnosis, appropriate medicine, supportive psychotherapy and counseling by ethnic counselors provided good outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalTorture : quarterly journal on rehabilitation of torture victims and prevention of torture
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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