Somali and Oromo refugees: correlates of torture and trauma history.
OBJECTIVES:This cross-sectional, community-based, epidemiological study characterized Somali and Ethiopian (Oromo) refugees in Minnesota to determine torture prevalence and associated problems. METHODS:A comprehensive questionnaire was developed, then administered by trained ethnic interviewers to a nonprobability sample of 1134. Measures assessed torture techniques; traumatic events; and social, physical, and psychological problems, including posttraumatic stress symptoms. RESULTS:Torture prevalence ranged from 25% to 69% by ethnicity and gender, higher than usually reported. Unexpectedly, women were tortured as often as men. Torture survivors had more health problems, including posttraumatic stress. CONCLUSIONS:This study highlights the need to recognize torture in African refugees, especially women, identify indicators of posttraumatic stress in torture survivors, and provide additional resources to care for tortured refugees.
Jaranson, JM; Butcher, J; Halcon, L; Johnson, DR; Robertson, C; Savik, K; Spring, M; Westermeyer, J
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