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The relation between coping, social support and psychological and somatic symptoms among torture survivors in Nepal

  • J. EMMELKAMP (a1), I. H. KOMPROE (a1), M. VAN OMMEREN (a1) and S. SCHAGEN (a1)

Abstract

Background. Little is known about the relation between coping, social support, and psychological and somatic symptoms among survivors of torture living outside the West.

Method. In a population-based dataset of 315 tortured Bhutanese refugees, univariate and multivariate relationships between coping and social support and symptoms were estimated. These relationships were verified in a second sample of 57 help-seeking Nepalese torture survivors.

Results. A relationship was observed between the total number of coping strategies used and anxiety and depression. Negative coping, in contrast to positive coping, was related to all symptom outcome measures. Received social support was stronger related to symptoms than perceived social support. The findings from the first sample were replicated in the second sample.

Conclusion. We found hypothesized relationships between coping, social support, and psychological and somatic symptoms among survivors of torture living in Nepal. The findings from this study confirm the importance of understanding specific types of coping and social support to develop intervention programmes for torture survivors in Non-western settings.

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Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Dr I. H. Komproe, Keizersgracht 329, 1016 EE Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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