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Current Research:

The Civilian Mississippi PTSD Scale: A Cross-Cultural Psychometric Evaluation During the 2010 Complex Emergency in Kyrgyzstan.

Dr. Elena Molchanova; Dr. Patrick Marius Koga

The aim of this study is to cross examine the reliability and validity of the Civilian Version of the Mississippi Scale for Combat-Related PTSD and the authors’ version translated in Kyrgyz and culturally retooled using data from the survivors of the Spring 2010 antigovernment protesters in Bishkek , Kyrgyzstan and of those surviving the ongoing violence and refugee crisis in the major city of southern Kyrgyzstan, Osh. Preliminary investigations of validity are in the form of correlations with indices of stressful life events, a PTSD symptom count, and measures of demoralization and active expression of hostility.

Kyrgyzstan is currently in the turmoil of a major humanitarian crisis which is attracting international aid and interventions. The authors posit that given Kyrgyzstan’s peculiar mental health system as a blend of traditional shamanic healers and mainstream psychiatrists and psychologists, it is imperative for a coordinated international mental health aid to undergo a specific training in Kyrgyz and Uzbek cultural competence and learn to retool their assessments, diagnoses, and treatments. We posit that the culturally retooled Kyrgyz version of the Mississippi Scale for PTSD will demonstrate a greater reliability and validity in measuring PTSD in Kyrgyz participants than the US version.

Key words: PTSD, Mississippi PTSD Scale, Kyrgyzstan, Complex Emergency, Cultural Competence



Our goal is to raise $500,000 for various start-up and operating costs and several research projects. We intend to start off with two observational studies on the impact of CMBM (Center for Mind-Body Medicine) and MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Technique) in patients with PTSD followed by two randomized clinical studies.

The spiritual injuries of PTSD and mental disorders have so far been ignored by traditional psychiatric and counseling interventions. Considering a whole-patient approach to care, we intend to explore and measure the effects of spiritual practices and transpersonal psychology interventions in PSTD. We intend to observe the effects of prayer, meditation, and other spiritual practices on amygdala and hippocampus by imaging brain studies.

Another study will employ CMBM in Virtual Reality (VR) for tele-counseling our traumatized soldiers returning from the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The start-up funds are necessary to acquire the state-of-the-art equipment needed to develop the center's research infrastructure.


At the XIVth World Congress of Psychiatry held in September 2008 in Prague, Dr. Marius Koga from UC Davis School of Medicine, and his co-investigator, Dr. Elena Molchanova from the American University in Central Asia, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, have presented a novel model for psychiatric assessment and diagnosis: a 3-D, fractal equivalent of DSM-IV. VIRTIS intends to continue the development of the mathematical modeling and the methodology for this project to translate into PTSD interventions in virtual reality (VR) second life (SL). To this end, VIRTIS will explore a joint partnership with UC Davis, School of Medicine, The Institute of Transpersonal Psychology- Neurophenomenology Center, Palo Alto, IBM, and seek funding through a NIMH grant


A large scale NIMH epidemiological study of the disparity gap in mental health services in the Eastern European population of Sacramento will be conducted for the benefit of some 250,000 refugees and immigrants traditionally underserved because of their racial invisibility. This study will use CIDI (Composite International Diagnostic Interview) in partnership with homologue partners in the countries of origin: Russia, Ukraine, ex-Yugoslavia, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, etc. Once the disparity gap is measured and the barriers are identified, effective measures can be devised to overcome them. The international partnership here is important as we want to understand that happens to the incidence and prevalence rates of mental disorders along the migration continuum. The research findings- in the form of research lectures- will inform public health officials and policy makers about the predictability of health needs and costs in a global world with future massive displacements of populations and subsequent impacts on the local health systems.al health systems.



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