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Am J Psychiatry. 1990 Jan;147(1):83-8.

Assessing symptom change in Southeast Asian refugee survivors of mass violence and torture.

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Indochinese Psychiatry Clinic, St. Elizabeth's Hospital, Brighton Marine Public Health Center, MA 02135.


The authors evaluated changes in symptoms and levels of perceived distress of 21 Cambodian, 13 Hmong/Laotian, and 18 Vietnamese patients before and after a 6-month treatment period. Most of the patients improved significantly. Cambodians had the greatest and Hmong/Laotians had the least reductions in depressive symptoms. Although psychological symptoms improved, many somatic symptoms worsened. The authors conclude that refugee survivors of multiple traumata and torture can be aided by psychiatric care. They recommend investigations with larger samples and suitable control groups to further clarify the relative contributions of trauma, diagnosis, and acculturation stress to treatment outcome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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