Understanding and treating posttraumatic stress disorder in the global village

Ali M. Hashmi, Ali Ahsan Ali, Dennis R. Vowell, Imran S. Khawaja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The United States population continues to become more geographically, linguistically, and culturally diverse. Health care professionals, including psychiatrists, have to manage an increasing number of patients from a variety of cultural backgrounds. In addition to language barriers, cultural issues are becoming increasingly important in assessing and treating patients from different cultures including those suffering from trauma-related illnesses. With the persistence of domestic and international conflicts and terroristic incidents all over the world, posttraumatic stress disorder and trauma-related illness rates may continue to rise. Psychiatrists and mental health professionals need to be familiar with how the effects of trauma and trauma-related illness present across different cultures and how assessment and treatment will need to differ in these different populations. The American Psychiatric Association has responded to these challenges by including a section on “Cultural Formulation” in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition (DSM-5). This article focuses on examining various aspects of the presentation of trauma-related illness in different cultures with specific emphasis on culturally sensitive assessment and treatment along the lines advised in DSM-5. The article also includes guidelines for clinicians on how to incorporate culture-specific approaches and tools in their day-to-day practice to achieve optimal outcomes for patients and their families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)128-133
Number of pages6
JournalPsychiatric Annals
Volume47
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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