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Commentary
August 4, 2010

The Role of Paraprofessionals in Providing Treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Low-Resource Communities

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: National Center for PTSD, VA Palo Alto Health Care System, and Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, Menlo Park, California.

JAMA. 2010;304(5):571-572. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1096

Many survivors of human conflict witness or experience atrocities that leave them forever changed. Epidemiological studies reveal that psychiatric morbidity associated with mass violence in civilian and refugee populations is increased when compared with nontraumatized communities. In particular, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or symptoms of PTSD have been reported in approximately one-third of such populations1 and it has been associated with significant impairment in socio-occupational functioning. Providing evidence-based psychotherapy for large clusters of individuals with posttraumatic stress is an ongoing public health challenge.

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