Susanne Schaal

Learn More
BACKGROUND During the Rwandan genocide of 1994, nearly one million people were killed within a period of 3 months. OBJECTIVE The objectives of this study were to investigate the levels of trauma exposure and the rates of mental health disorders and to describe risk factors of posttraumatic stress reactions in Rwandan widows and orphans who had been(More)
A decade after the 1994 Rwandan genocide, we interviewed a total of 68 Rwandan orphans about their war experiences and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. The two samples comprised youth living either in a child-headed household (CHH) or in an orphanage. All had been exposed to extreme levels of violence and 41% had witnessed the murder of their(More)
BACKGROUND The aim of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy of treatment modules for trauma spectrum disorders in a sample of Rwandan genocide orphans. METHODS Twenty-six orphans (originally 27) who presented with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at first assessment continued to meet a PTSD DSM-IV diagnosis 6 months after their initial(More)
BACKGROUND The concept of Prolonged Grief Disorder (PGD) has been defined in recent years by Prigerson and co-workers, who have developed and empirically tested consensus and diagnostic criteria for PGD. Using these most recent criteria defining PGD, the aim of this study was to determine rates of and risks for PGD in survivors of the 1994 Rwandan genocide(More)
Former members of armed groups in eastern DR Congo had typically witnessed, experienced, and perpetrated extreme forms of violence. Enhanced trauma-related symptoms had been shown in prior research. But also lashing out in self-defense is a familiar response to threat defined as reactive aggression. Another potential response is appetitive aggression, in(More)
Former child soldiers and ex-combatants are at high risk of developing trauma-related disorders and appetitive aggression, which reduce successful integration into peaceful societies. In a randomized controlled clinical trial, we offered Narrative Exposure Therapy for Forensic Offender Rehabilitation (FORNET) to 15 ex-combatants with the goal of reducing(More)
BACKGROUND Depending on the exposure to traumatic stressors and combat, 20% to 50% of ex-combatants present with trauma-related disorders, and more than half of the members of armed groups have a proclivity to violence. Therefore, psychotherapeutic assistance should address both, trauma-related suffering and the lowered threshold for aggressive behaviour.(More)
Should pathological grief be viewed as a nosological category, separate from other forms of mental diseases? Diagnostic criteria for "Prolonged Grief Disorder" (PGD) have recently been specified by Prigerson and her coworkers. We interviewed a total of 40 widows who had lost their husbands during the Rwandan genocide in 1994. We assessed Major Depression(More)
Objectives of this study were to compare rates of mental health disorders in Rwandan genocide perpetrators with those of genocide survivors and to investigate potential predictors of symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression for both groups. We expected high rates of mental disorders in both study groups and hypothesized that symptom(More)
BACKGROUND As a consequence of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, prevalences of mental disorders are elevated in Rwanda. More knowledge about determinants of mental stress can help to improve mental health services and treatment in the east-central African country. The present study aimed to investigate actual rates of mental stress (posttraumatic stress disorder,(More)