Author Affiliations: Dr Cole (email@example.com) is Contributing Editor and Ms Flanagin (firstname.lastname@example.org) is Managing Deputy Editor, JAMA.
Exposure to violence and human rights abuses can trigger a cascade of health problems, such as posttraumatic stress disorder,1- 5 anxiety,5- 7 mood disorder,1,4,5,7 substance abuse,7 somatic disorders,3,8 chronic pain,8 suicide attempts,7 physical and mental disability,2,7 and increased all-cause mortality.9 Violence and human rights abuses are also ubiquitous, so it is likely that most if not all clinicians will encounter patients with some of these health consequences. Despite the difficulty of testing interventions in populations under extreme life stress who understandably can be difficult to reach and retain for scientific study, randomized trials have demonstrated that specific therapies for the sequelae of violence and human rights abuses can be effective.10 Just as important, randomized trials have found some interventions for survivors or perpetrators of violence to be only modestly beneficial11 or ineffective.12- 14 The value of negative studies is to expose critical gaps in knowledge, indicating the need to design, implement, and evaluate new and promising interventions.
Cole TB, Flanagin A. 2012 JAMA Theme Issue on Violence and Human Rights—Call for Papers. JAMA. 2011;306(21):2384. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1758