271402 An overview of psychiatric disorders in the Arab world: Prevalence, determinants, and state of care

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 3:15 PM - 3:30 PM

Elie Karam, MD, PhD, Director , Institute for Development, Research, Advocacy and Applied Care (IDRAAC), Faculty of Medicine, Balamand University, Lebanon, Beirut, Lebanon
Mariana Salamoun, MA , Institute for Development Research Advocacy and Applied Care, Institute for Development Research Advocacy and Applied Care, Beirut, Lebanon
Doris Jaalouk, PhD, MPH , Faculty of Nursing and Health Sciences, Notre Dame University- Louaize, Zouk Mosbeh, Lebanon
Olivia Shabb, MS , PGSP-Stanford PsyD Consortium, Palo Alto University and Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA
Driss Moussaoui, MD , Psychiatric Center, Ibn Rushd University, Casablanca, Morocco
Research on mental health in the Arab world is fragmented. This research was conducted in an effort to consolidate existing knowledge on psychiatric illness in Arab countries and provide a comprehensive picture of mental illness in the Arab world more generally. The available literature on mental health in Arab countries was exhaustively searched and sifted for methodologically sound articles providing information in several key areas. These include: prevalence of mental health disorders (using criteria from the DSM-IV-TR), psychosocial correlates of these disorders, determinants and protective factors, and availability and quality of treatment. Results: Rates of psychiatric diagnoses vary across Arab countries and existing large-scale studies are too sparse to provide a generalized picture for the Arab world. The manifestation and burden of mental illness are influenced by a variety of factors, including biological forces and culture-specific experiences such as war exposure, religion, stigma, and the various qualities of the Arab social fabric. While there is growing awareness of mental health issues in the Arab countries, overall the psychiatrically afflicted population remains underserved due to stigma, lack of access to treatment, a paucity of independent or state-run programs promoting mental health, and lack of resources to invest in psychiatric awareness and care. The evidence base for understanding the state of psychiatric illnesses in the Arab world remains slim. A need for a larger number of epidemiological and cohort studies using standardized, validated measures is noted, and directions for future research are suggested to help improve and inform psychiatric care and policy-making.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the prevalence of various psychiatric disorders across the Arab world. Compare the prevalence of mental illness in Arab countries and non-Arab countries including the United States. Define risk and protective factors for mental illness in Arab societies including culture-specific factors. Assess the current state of awareness and care for psychiatric illness in the Arab world. Identify challenges to the treatment and management of psychiatric illness in the Arab world. Identify gaps in research and knowledge regarding the prevalence, nature and treatment of psychiatric disorders in the Arab world.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have undergraduate and graduate degrees in clinical psychology and am an experienced researcher. I am one of the principal authors of the proposed research, conducted while I was working in mental health in Lebanon at the Medical Institute for Neuropsychological Disorders. I am invested in improving and sharing an understanding of mental health issues in the Middle East including prevalence, risk factors including culture-specific factors, access to care, challenges to treatment, and policy implications.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 4304.0: Psychiatric Epidemiology