Research articles

Nunca Más

International Network for Human Rights and Psycho-social Response

Research Article from Nunca Mas Member on ‘Psychoeducation as a low-cost Treatment of Chronic Pain’


Nunca Mas is based on human solidarity with survivors of state violence and torture. We strive to formulate real responses to address the causes and consequences of human pain and sufferings. Nunca Mas is constantly looking for alternative low-cost psycho-social approaches. However, we have limited capacity to research and validate new psycho-social approaches.

Nunca Mas is a voluntary organisation and we are glad for the inputs from our members, including from our health professionals in the organisation. So, we are very happy to share a new research article on treatment of chronic pain from two long-term Nunca Mas members, Dr. Uwe Harlacher and Dr. Peter Polatin.


Their point of departure and professional interest was that persistent pain in survivors of torture/organized violence is a seldom addressed problem. Although Chronic Pain is well-known among survivors of torture/organized violence who experienced physical injuries, unfortunately, treatment to date mainly addresses mental health problems like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).


The exciting good news from the two researchers and their research partner TPO Cambodia is that psychoeducation for chronic pain (‘Pain School’) seems to have the potential to reduce or even alleviate permanent pain for the pain patients. From our Nunca Mas perspective, the pain school - tested and modified according local cultural values and attitudes - could be a cost-effective intervention envisioned for the many victims of violence and torture with permanent pain and living under poor and health resource-scarce contexts. Accordingly, Nunca Mas may explore the practicality of introducing culturally modified versions of ‘pain schools’ in our future psycho-social work.  


The research article ‘Education as Treatment for Chronic Pain in Survivors of Trauma in Cambodia: Results of a Randomized Controlled Outcome Trial’ is published in the latest issue of International Journal of Violence and Conflict (Vol. 13/2019).

You will find the link to the article here: http://www.ijcv.org/index.php/ijcv/article/view/655