197539 Collective exposure to violence and human rights violations in the complex setting in Bangladesh (II): Torture history and functional assessment of victims

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Shr-Jie Wang, MPH, PhD , Research department, Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims, Copenhagen, Denmark
Background: Little is known about emotional wellbeing, physical and social functioning of oppressed populations exposed to organized and political violence (OPV).

Methods: 236 subjects (184 male and 52 female) were recruited from those who reported exposure to OPV in a household survey in Meherpur district. Demographic data, information on personal relationships and social participation was collected. Injuries, pain frequency and intensity were assessed.

Results: Majority of alleged torture occurred in 2000-2008; 51% of cases occurred during winter. Police involvement was reported in 75% of cases. Incidences took place at victims' homes (46.7%), or at the police station, military camp, custody or prison (21.9%). Subjects experienced 1-10 torture methods and reported 0-6 injuries. Less than 20% of subjects were able to stand on one leg for 90 seconds; 7.5% of males aged 25-44 had a handgrip strength in both hands exceeding average values for healthy people at the same age. Age, Body Mass Index and number of reported injuries have significant effect on standing balance performance. Over 85% of victims had low score (<13) on WHO wellbeing 5 scale. Number of years passed since the torture event, pain frequency, quitting work to take care of an injured family member, political participation, conflict with other people and fear of violence in the neighborhood strongly affect emotional wellbeing.

Conclusion: The study presents trends and patterns of torture in Meherpur district. To generate the baseline knowledge for monitoring quality and outcome of rehabilitation we developed a simple, rapid tool to assess the functional capacity of the victims.

Learning Objectives:
1. Design a simple and rapid method to assess the functional capacity of the victims of organized and political violence in the country with limited resource 2. Describe the trend and patterns of torture, organized and political violence 3. Assess the nutrition status, handgrip strengths, standing balance performance and subjective emotional wellbeing of victims 4. Identify the personal factors that affect physical-emotional fitness and social participation of victims

Keywords: Violence, Injury

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: PhD in Clinical and Intervention Epidemiology, Basel University, Switzerland and MPH in Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, School of Medicine, Yale University, USA
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.