Severity of trauma as predictor of long-term psychological status in survivors of torture

Basoglu, M. & Paker, M. (1995). Severity of trauma as predictor of long-term psychological status in survivors of torture. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 9:4, 339-350.

Abstract

Severity of trauma as a predictor of long-term psychological functioning was examined in 55 tortured political ex-prisoners in Turkey. The assessments included semistructured interviews and measures of anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder. The severity of torture was assessed by measures of number of types of torture, number of exposures to torture, duration of captivity, and perceived distress. The survivors reported a mean of 23 different forms of torture and a mean total of 291 exposures to torture during their captivity. Despite severity of trauma, the number of exposures to torture did not predict posttorture psychological problems, whereas ratings of perceived distress did. Implications of these findings for theory and classification of psychological trauma and for legal practices concerning torture survivors are discussed.

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