Uncovering re-traumatization experiences of torture survivors in somatic health care: A qualitative systematic review
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionPLOS ONE. 2021, (1-20). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0246074
Little research has focused on torture survivors’ re-traumatization experiences in health and hospital units that treat somatic diseases, though any medical procedure can re-traumatize survivors. This study’s purpose was to summarize qualitative research evidence on torture survivors’ somatic healthcare experiences and to identify “triggers” or “reminders” that can lead to re-traumatization. The study’s search strategies identified 6,326 citations and eight studies, comprising data from 290 participants, exploring encounters with healthcare provid- ers from torture survivors’ perspectives, which were included in the present research. Dal- lam’s Healthcare Retraumatization Model was used as a framework for data extraction and analysis. Five main themes were elicited from the findings: (1) invisibility, silence, and mis- trust; (2) healthcare providers’ attitudes and a lack of perceived quality in healthcare; (3) disempowerment; (4) avoidance; and (5) satisfaction and gratitude. An analysis of the study’s findings revealed that torture survivors do not receive adequate healthcare and may experience challenges during treatment that can result in re-traumatization. The findings of this literature review provide a basis for understanding the difficulties that survivors experi- ence in receiving somatic healthcare, as well as an explanation of the re-traumatization process.