Taking History of Torture

Taking a History of Torture

This is a series of 7 videos that have been created by EthnoMed to help guide providers who need to take a history of torture from their patients.

June 20, 2020 · Video


Refugees Northwest Logo Cropped

Northwest Health and Human Rights (NWHHR) Coalition

Information about a collaborative coalition that provides medical consultation, mental health and legal social services to survivors of torture in Washington State.

December 31, 2019 · Article


Torture: Spine Injury

In this vignette the patient describes how he was tortured, his symptoms and the related back injuries he sustained.

June 29, 2016 · Video


Caring for Torture Survivors: Warning about PTSD and Flashbacks

Short vignette that demonstrates how to warn survivors of torture about PTSD and flashbacks.

June 29, 2016 · Video


Hearing a Political History: Death of a Child

Vignette about a refugee's terrible loss and suffering that comes with the death of his child - a form of torture itself.

June 29, 2016 · Video


Arrest, Detention & Escape: Arrest and Confinement

This vignette captures the details and brutality of the process of torture.

June 29, 2016 · Video


Getting a Torture History: PTSD Reactivation

Discussion about the experience of reactivation of torture PTSD because of catastrophic illness.

February 10, 2015 · Video


Hearing the Political History: Witnessing the Torture of Others

This video discusses an example of mass torture in Cambodia under Pol Pot.

February 10, 2015 · Video


Torture Symptoms: Catastrophic Illness

This gentleman is identifying the end stage renal disease and his need for dialysis as a trigger that reactivated his PTSD and specifically his experiences of torture 40 years earlier under the Khmer Rouge.

February 10, 2015 · Video


Sequelae of Torture: Traumatic Brain Injury

A 40 minute video presentation by Dr. Carey Jackson about working with torture survivors. Topics include mechanisms of traumatic brain injury, symptoms of TBI, and how to assess and treat.

October 4, 2014 · Video


Impact of Torture on Medical Care

A 27 minute video presentation by Dr. Nicole Ahrenholz about issues involved in the medical screening and treatment of victims of torture.

October 4, 2014 · Video


Oromo woman describing psychological effetcts of secondary torture

Secondary Torture: Psychological Sequela and Sleep Disturbances

Oromo patient describes the psychological fallout of having experienced secondary torture - including nightmares.

March 12, 2014 · Video


Oromo patient describing injuries from torture

Torture Symptoms: Linking Symptoms to Mechanism of Injury

Oromo patient describes mechanisms of torture and resulting injuries.

March 12, 2014 · Video


Secondary Torture

This Oromo patient describes her experiences witnessing torture of others in her life, which is an example of secondary torture.

March 12, 2014 · Video


Physical and Psychological Sequelae in Refugees Who Have Survived Torture: Literature Review

A review of the literature about ramifications of physical and psychological torture in adult refugees or asylum seekers.

January 1, 2014 · Article


Torture Symptoms: Distorted Timelines & Memory Loss

This clip illustrates how torture can impact a clear narrative of events and make it difficult for clinicians to reconstruct linear timelines.

December 5, 2013 · Video


Arrest, Detention & Escape: Confinement

This clip illustrates a common form of torture: confinement and isolation in restricted spaces.

December 5, 2013 · Video


Arrest, Detention & Escape: Starvation

This clip illustrates the significance of hunger on patients and their memories of torture.

December 5, 2013 · Video


Torture Symptoms: Chronic Nightmares and Sleeplessness

This gentleman has been out of prison for 30+ years. He has never mentioned sleep difficulties as an issue nor his near nightly nightmares.

December 3, 2013 · Video


Evaluation and Treatment of Survivors of Torture

A slideshow to help clinicians who treat victims of torture recognize the significance of a torture history, know how to record and document it, and understand how to integrate that history into medical decision making.

June 4, 2013 · PDF


Torture: Electrical Torture

Slideshow providing information about electrical torture, prevalence among refugees, and long-term effects.

March 10, 2013 · PDF


Photo of a health care provider going over a form with a patient

Refugee Health Screener-15 (RHS 15) Packet

The RHS-15 is a tool for screening refugees for emotional distress and mental health. Packet includes the RHS-15 tool, background on the tool’s development, and guidelines on using the RHS-15 with recently resettled refugees.

December 19, 2012 · PDF


vietnamese girl thinking

Screening for Depression Among Newly Arrived Vietnamese Refugees in Primary Care Settings

Article reprinted with permission from Western Journal of Medicine. By Dedra Buchwald, MD et al. West J Med, October 1995; 163:341-345.

October 2, 1995 · Article, PDF


men in a restaurant eating

Mental Health and Illness in Vietnamese Refugees

Article reprinted with permission from Western Journal of Medicine by Steven J. Gold, PhD, Whittier, CA. West J Med, Sept. 1992; 157:290-294.

September 6, 1992 · Article


multicolored rural clinic

Working with Refugee Survivors of Torture

Article reprinted with permission from Western Journal of Medicine. By Barbara Chester, PhD and Neal Holton, MPH. West J Med, September 1992; 157:301-304.

September 1, 1992 · Article, PDF