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November 3, 2004

Trauma and PTSD Symptoms in Rwanda

JAMA. 2004;292(17):2082-2083. doi:10.1001/jama.292.17.2082-a

To the Editor: I would like to raise some questions about the methods used by Drs Pham, Weinstein, and Longman in their valuable study of the aftermath of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.1 Burundi has been described as Rwanda’s “twin neighbor.”2 In 1994 that country also suffered ethnically based violence with mass killings, displacements of populations, and major disruption.3 During a 1994 fact-finding mission in Burundi for Physicians for Human Rights,4 the level of insecurity was still considerable. We attempted to assess the perception and impact of past and current violence among ordinary citizens, using a short ad hoc questionnaire administered to 68 mothers in various areas of the country.