Education as Treatment for Chronic Pain in Survivors of Torture and Other Violent Events in Cambodia: Experiences with Implementation of a Group-based "Pain School" and Evaluation of its Effect in a Pilot Study

Phaneth, S., Panha, P., Sopheap, T., Harlacher, U., & Polatin, P. (2014). Education as Treatment for Chronic Pain in Survivors of Torture and Other Violent Events in Cambodia: Experiences with Implementation of a Group-based "Pain School" and Evaluation of its Effect in a Pilot Study. Journal of Applied Biobehavioral Research, 19(1), 53-69.

The DIGNITY Institute Against Torture is a Danish nongovernmental organization with a Copenhagen-based rehabilitation program for torture survivors, where the majority of patients suffer from chronic pain and are treated with a group-based, ten-session, psycho-educational “pain school.” This material was presented to therapists at the Transcultural Psychosocial Organization Cambodia, so as to develop a culturally adapted “Khmer Pain School,” which was subsequently tested in a pilot study with 34 completers. The Brief Pain Inventory and the Disability Rating Index, contextualized and translated into Khmer, were the main outcome measures. Results revealed that therapists and clients found the Cambodian pain school to be relevant and helpful. The quantitative outcome indicators demonstrated clinical improvement, with significant effect sizes.

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