Re-Traumatization of Torture Survivors during Healthcare – A Summary of Evidence

Ana Carla Schippert

Published on: 2022-06-22


Introduction: Although research on torture survivors has increased in recent years, there is still little focus on the re-traumatization of torture survivors during treatment. Any medical procedure can re- traumatizes survivors and healthcare providers need to be aware of this in order to prevent re- traumatization.

Aim: This systematic reviews purpose was to summarize qualitative research evidence on the healthcare experiences for torture survivors in order to understand the process of re-traumatization.

Methods: The study’s search strategies identified 6,326 citations and of these, eight studies were included. Data from 290 participants exploring interactions with healthcare providers from torture survivors’ perspectives were included in this systematic review.

Results: The analysis of the study’s findings revealed that torture survivors experienced lack of quality in the received care resulting in potential risk for re-traumatization. The findings were used for the creation of an explanation model to the process of re-traumatization of torture survivors during treatment in departments treating somatic diseases.

Conclusion: The findings of this literature review create a foundation for understanding the challenges with torture survivor’s experiences of healthcare, as well as understanding the risk of re-traumatization during somatic healthcare.



Healthcare; Re-Traumatization of Torture