46. El Sarraj, E., Punamä ki, R. L., Salmi, S., and Summerfield, D. Experiences of Torture and Ill-Treatment and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms among Palestinian Political Prisoners. Journal of Traumatic Stress 1996; 9,3: 595-606.
The relationship between the nature and severity of experiences of torture and ill-treatment and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms was studied in 550 male, non-help seeking Palestinian political ex-prisoners from the Gaza Strip. Results indicated that the severity of reported torture experiences strongly predicted subsequent PTSD symptoms, manifesting itself in the form of intrusive re-experiencing, withdrawal and numbness, and hyper-arousal. Existential problems were not affected by torture and ill-treatment experiences. The authors conclude that exposure to torture and ill-trecannot alone explain the occurrence of PTSD symptoms, as it was difficult to determine when "torture" effects stopped and "prison" effects started.