Beyond Trauma‐Focused Psychiatric Epidemiology: Bridging Research and Practice With War‐Affected Populations

University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States
American Journal of Orthopsychiatry (Impact Factor: 1.5). 09/2006; 76(4):409 - 422. DOI: 10.1037/0002-9432.76.4.409
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This article examines the centrality of trauma-focused psychiatric epidemiology (TFPE) in research with war-affected populations. The authors question the utility of the dominant focus on posttraumatic stress disorder and other disorders of Western psychiatry, and they identify a set of critical research foci related to mental health work with communities affected by political violence. Core assumptions of TFPE and its roots in logical positivism and the biomedical model of contemporary psychiatry are explored. The authors suggest that an alternative framework—social constructivism—can serve as a bridge between researchers and practitioners by helping to refocus research efforts in ways that are conceptually and methodologically more attuned to the needs of war-affected communities and those working to address their mental health needs.

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