Managing chronic pain in survivors of torture

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Abstract

SUMMARY

All generalist and specialist clinicians are likely to encounter torture survivors among refugees and asylum seekers. A minority of people survive torture and a smaller minority reach a developed country; those who do tend to be the more resilient and resourceful. They have many health, social and welfare problems; persistent pain in the musculoskeletal system is one of the most common. There is little specific evidence on pain in survivors of torture; the guidelines on interdisciplinary specialist management are applicable. Most of the literature on refugee survivors of torture has an exclusive focus on psychological disorders, with particularly poor understanding of pain problems. This article summarizes the current status of assessment and treatment of pain problems in the torture survivor.

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