Collaborative effort to increase the physiotherapist’s competency in rehabilitation of torture survivors


  • Maria Nordheim Alme Western Norway University of Applied Sciences
  • Djenana Jalovcic Western Norway University of Applied Sciences
  • Ilona Fricker Center for Victims of Torture
  • Sarah Peters
  • Rolf Vårdal Bergen municipality, Centre for migration health
  • Patricia Rocca Swedish Red Cross Rehabilitation Centre for refugees affected by war and torture
  • William Hale University of Birmingham
  • Esra Alagöz Independent Doctors Association
  • Nika Leskovsek Alma Mater University
  • Aicha Benyaich International Committee of Red Cross
  • Emer McGowan Trinity College Dublin
  • Anna Pettersson Karolinska Institutet
  • Carina Boström Karolinska Institutet
  • Line Merethe Giusti Bergen municipality, Centre for migration health, Bergen, Norway
  • Michel Landry Western Norway University of Applied Sciences and Duke University
  • Rachael Lowe Physiopedia
  • Kjersti Thulin Wilhelmsen Western Norway University of Applied Sciences
  • Joost van Wijchen HAN University of Applied Sciences



Torture, refugees, physiotherapy


Thank you for this opportunity to share perspectives from our work within the Physiotherapy and Refugees Education Project, PREP, an Erasmus+ funded project within the KA2 strategic partnership program. Researchers, educators, students, and clinicians within institutions of higher education, health services and humanitarian organisations, have worked together in this project to define competencies that physiotherapists need in working with refugees. Based on this, we have made a course openly available for physiotherapists worldwide. A central aim of the work in PREP has been the creation of a network in which educators, students and clinicians can meet, discuss, and learn from each other. We welcome everyone who shares our interest to join us in this network. In this perspective paper, we want to share our thoughts and opinions on how such a collaboration can be used for building competence. We will discuss topics that are central for physiotherapists working with victims of torture, and finally, we will discuss what we believe are the important next steps within physiotherapy to be able to support this group.

Author Biographies

Maria Nordheim Alme, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences

First author

Rolf Vårdal, Bergen municipality, Centre for migration health

Last author


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How to Cite

Alme, M. N., Jalovcic, D., Fricker, I., Peters, S., Vårdal, R., Rocca, P., Hale, W., Alagöz, E., Leskovsek, N., Benyaich, A., McGowan, E., Pettersson, A., Boström, C., Giusti, L. M., Landry, M., Lowe, R., Wilhelmsen, K. T., & van Wijchen, J. (2021). Collaborative effort to increase the physiotherapist’s competency in rehabilitation of torture survivors. Torture Journal, 30(3), 61–66.