Phil B.FontanarosaMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorMargaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorStephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Fishbein FellowIndividualAuthor
Copyright 2000 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.
Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2000
To the Editor: Dr Mollica and colleagues1 concluded that their survey of Bosnian refugees
supports the "ubiquitousness of comorbid psychiatric illness in traumatized
refugees," and they attribute substantial disability to these psychiatric
These conclusions are premature. The authors' assumption that refugee
status is inherently traumatic is unwarranted. While flight from one's home
is undoubtedly distressing, it is not possible to assume that all respondents
experienced or witnessed events that threatened their physical integrity.
Given the thin descriptions on the checklist, many of the specific ostensibly
traumatic events that were endorsed by respondents might not have been judged
traumatic in an interview in which respondents' accounts of the events could
Coyne JC, Kagee A. Mental Health Among Bosnian Refugees. JAMA. 2000;283(1):55-56. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-283-1-jbk0500