Cognitive-behavioral treatment of tortured asylum seekers: a case study

J Anxiety Disord. 2004;18(3):357-69. doi: 10.1016/S0887-6185(02)00248-7.


The present study examined results of cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT) in a 22-year-old, male, tortured asylum-seeker living in Sweden. The patient received 16 sessions of CBT involving mainly self-exposure to trauma-related cues. Clinical measures (assessor- and self-rated) were completed at pre-treatment, weeks 6, 8, 12, and 16, post-treatment and at follow-up (1-, 3-, and 6-month). Treatment led to significant improvement across all measures of post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression. The improvement was maintained at 6-month follow-up. The results suggest that CBT could be useful in treating tortured asylum-seekers and refugees despite the additional stressors experienced by asylum-seekers and refugees.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Refugees*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / therapy*
  • Torture*
  • Treatment Outcome