Relationship of Pretreatment Rorschach Factors to Symptoms, Quality of Life, and Real-Life Functioning in a 3-Year Follow-Up of Traumatized Refugee Patients.
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionOpaas, M., Hartmann, E., Wentzel-Larsen, T., & Varvin, S. (2015). Relationship of Pretreatment Rorschach Factors to Symptoms, Quality of Life, and Real-Life Functioning in a 3-Year Follow-Up of Traumatized Refugee Patients. Journal of personality assessment, 1-14. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00223891.2015.1089247
Response to mental health treatment varies highly among refugee patients. Research has not establishedwhich factors relate to differences in outcome. This study is a follow-up of Opaas and Hartmann’s (2013)Rorschach Inkblot Method (RIM; Exner, 2003) pretreatment study of traumatized refugees, where 2 RIMprincipal components, Trauma Response and Reality Testing, were found descriptive of participants’trauma-related personality functioning. This study’s aims were to examine relationships of the RIMcomponents with measures of anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress, quality of life (QOL), employment,and exile language skills throughout 3 years. We found that impaired Reality Testing was related to moremental health symptoms and poorer QOL; furthermore, individuals with adequate Reality Testingimproved in posttraumatic stress symptoms thefirst year and retained their improvement. Individualswith impaired Reality Testing deteriorated thefirst year and improved only slightly the next 2 years. Theresults of this study imply that traumatized refugee patients with impaired Reality Testing might needspecific treatment approaches. Research follow-up periods should be long enough to detect changes. Thereality testing impairment revealed by the RIM, mainly perceptual in quality, might not be easily detectedby diagnostic interviews and self-report.