Torture syndrome: A search for a unique traumatic symptomatology for tortured- treatment-seeking-refugees
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Background: Torture has a high traumatizing potential and is a strong predictor of PTSD. Thus far, interventions have only had little effect on treatment-seeking individuals who experienced torture, and a torture-related symptomology has yet to be recognized. Aim: This study aims to identify a torture-specific symptomatology among torture survivors from a treatment-seeking, refugee and asylum-seeking background, in order to optimize future interventions for this patient population. Methods: CAPS-5 and the depression dimension of BSI were used in order to separately analyze symptoms of PTSD and depression for torture survivors and non-tortured refugees. Results: A specific torture related symptomatology was not found. Most symptoms were found to vary between moderate to severe for both groups. Conclusion: The results indicate that both groups are likely to experience severe PTSD symptomatology. Possible explanations for the similarity in symptoms include post and pre-migration stressors that increased symptom severity for both groups. Further research is needed in order to determine whether there is in fact a specific torture related symptomatology.