Online proceedings for the IRCT General Assembly and 10th International Scientific Symposium - Delivering on the Promise of the Right to Rehabilitation

Time: 10:40 to 11:00 Download Presentation

Tortured and traumatized refugees at DIGNITY (Danish Institute Against Torture) - Comparison of severity of symptoms and treatment outcomes of an interdisciplinary rehabilitation program

Presenter(s) and co-author(s): Ms. Linda Nordin ( Danish Institute against Torture (DIGNITY) - Denmark ), Dr. Sean Perrin ( Lund University - Sweden ), Prof. Lars-gunnar Lundh ( Lund University - Sweden )


The impact of torture on health and wellbeing is both immediate and often long-lasting. There are indications that traumatized refugees have higher levels of psychiatric disability compared to inpatient groups such as schizophrenia and dementia. Previous studies have also shown symptoms to be chronic and difficult to treat. Sufficient evidence is lacking to draw conclusions on the efficiency of different treatments. The aim is to describe the severity of the symptomatology of traumatized refugees compared to other groups regarding PTSD, depression, anxiety and pain. We will also examine the treatment outcome of an interdisciplinary rehabilitation program at DIGNITY, Denmark.


120 clients admitted to DIGNITY during 2012-2014, were assessed with self-administered questionnaires collected at pre-treatment. The instruments included were Harvard Trauma Questionnaire (HTQ), Hopkins Symptoms Checklist (HSCL-25), WHO-Disability Assessment Scale (WHO-DAS), and Brief Pain Inventory (BPI). 70 clients admitted to DIGNITY during the same period were also included in a quasi-experimental trail comparing the interdisciplinary rehabilitation at DIGNITY with wait list at pre and post-treatment. The interdisciplinary rehabilitation program addresses psychological problems related to torture including post-traumatic stress, anxiety and depression, physiological symptoms (including pain), and social problems.


Analysis of the data reveals significant changes in certain aspects of functioning (depression, anxiety, PTSD and pain).  The analysis of data is ongoing.

Funding & No Conflicts Declaration

There are no funding related or other conflicts to declare.

By continuing your visit to this website, you accept the use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy. Yes I accept