Narrative Exposure Therapy for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Tortured Refugees: A Preliminary Uncontrolled Trial

Scand J Psychol. 2010 Dec;51(6):495-502. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9450.2010.00821.x.


Torture has severe mental health effects, especially in terms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. However, there is still a lack of empirical treatment studies. The present paper presents data on 16 torture survivors receiving 10 sessions of narrative exposure therapy (NET). Symptoms of PTSD and depression, assessed by Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) and Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD), decreased significantly from pre-treatment to 6-month follow-up, with Cohen's d effect sizes of 1.16 and 0.84, respectively. Although treatment gains were moderate, further research on evidence-based treatments for PTSD and depression in refugee torture survivors is warranted.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Depression / psychology
  • Depression / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Implosive Therapy / methods*
  • Life Change Events
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Narration*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Refugees / psychology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / therapy*
  • Survivors / psychology
  • Torture / psychology*
  • Treatment Outcome