Collaborative Care for Refugees and Torture Survivors: Next Steps are Needed Now

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

It’s time for more research on the value of collaborative care in addressing the needs of refugees and torture survivors, according to a report published this month in Traumatology. CVT researchers and colleagues conducted a comprehensive review of existing literature in the field of collaborative care, which is a multi-disciplinary approach to health care. Existing research on collaborative care with similarly vulnerable populations and on conditions most relevant to refugees (such as posttraumatic stress disorder, depression and several other severe health and mental health concerns) shows consistently positive results. Results for substance abuse, overall quality of life and cost-effectiveness are inconsistent and require further study. CVT is currently conducting a clinical trial that locates psychotherapy and targeted care management within primary health care settings to assess the health benefits and cost-effectiveness of a particular model of collaborative care.

“Refugees and survivors of extreme cruelty such as torture require interventions that improve quality of life and reduce symptoms,” said Maria Vukovich, Ph.D, CVT research associate and one of the report authors. “These individuals deserve answers and access to the most effective care. We have learned that the research is incomplete – this study provides evidence and justification for doing more.”

The paper, “Collaborative Care for Refugees and Torture Survivors: Key Findings from the Literature,” was written by Jennifer Esala, Ph.D., formerly a research associate with CVT, now with the University of Denver; Maria Vukovich; Ashley Hanbury, Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma; Shraddha Kashyap, University of Western Australia School of Psychology; and Amy Joscelyne, Ph.D., Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture. The authors considered the challenges faced by these populations, whose displacement and past traumatic experiences can create barriers to their access to care.

“Collaborative care has provided relief and positive results to many refugees who have taken steps to rebuild their lives after torture,” commented Maria Vukovich. “I am encouraged at these findings and the improvements in people’s everyday lives. What an excellent motivation to do more.”

 

Read an abstract or purchase the full paper here, in Traumatology journal.

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