Psychiatry is a medical specialty focused on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of mental, addictive, and emotional disorders. Major psychiatric conditions are often chronic illnesses and require staged and synergistic level of treatment and planning. The Department of Psychiatry at AUBMC ensures that patients have access to effective and attentive professional care.
Psychiatry as a discipline has always been an integral part of the Medical School curriculum, and among the clinical services offered at AUBMC. Until the mid-1970s the Division of Psychiatry at AUBMC directed and oversaw the clinical care of patients at Asfourieh, the teaching hospital for AUB medical students and residents. Asfourieh, known as an outstanding treatment center for psychiatric disorders in the Middle East, ran with a full bed capacity and had many private patients from neighboring countries. With the closure of Asfourieh, the psychiatrists at AUBMC practiced and did all their teaching at AUBMC, a situation that continues today.
In 1991, Dr. Munir Khani took charge of the Division of Psychiatry and in 1997, he established the Department of Psychiatry with its own independent structure and functions. Over the last decade, the Department of Psychiatry focused on consolidating the clinical services and optimizing medical student education. It has also launched pioneering research initiatives for the region focused on children and adults.
Starting in the summer of 2011, the Department began implementing a 5 year expansion plan under the leadership of Dr. Ziad Nahas. It has instituted a residency-training program, a clinical psychology training program, and a mood disorders research fellowship. The Department of Psychiatry now offers specialized clinical programs in child and adolescent psychiatry, mood disorders, neuromodulation, sleep disorders and psychometric assessments.
"Individualized Care" is the value that guides the Department of Psychiatry at AUBMC. It is focused on a humanitarian, respectful, ethical and competent assessment and treatment of individuals with mental illness within the framework of our culture.
The Department of Psychiatry at AUBMC aims at becoming the leading center for academic psychiatry in the Middle East with a special focus on excellent specialized clinical care, translational research and training. The department’s goal is to research, develop and ultimately provide cutting edge therapies to various neuropsychiatric disorders while expanding inpatient and outpatient psychiatric care. By doing so, it will complement AUBMC’s broader mission and provide much needed resources to local communities and individual health providers. It intends to:
provide the highest quality patient care to adults, children, and adolescents in the region.
conduct pioneering research to expand knowledge and treatments and adapt evidence-based interventions to population in the region.
educate professionals in psychiatry and allied professions.
serve the larger community.
model optimal mental healthcare to regional institutions and advocat for parity of treatment across other medical conditions.
play a key role in policymaking, reforming mental illness related laws, and protect psychiatric patients' rights.
- Inpatient Unit
This is a 10 bed unit primarily focused on acute psychiatric care of adult and adolescents, addressing urgent needs for acute psychosis, severe suicide ideation and depression, detoxification and other behavioral disturbances. Dr. Farid Talih serves as the unit’s Medical Director. The unit has 1 nurse coordinator and 10 psychiatric nurses, a fulltime inpatient psychologist to conduct individual and group psychotherapy, and a social worker attending to discharges and post-hospitalization disposition. Plans to add occupational therapy or recreational therapy are underway.
Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), one of the most effective acute psychiatric therapies, has been up until recently, the only available neuromodulation therapy at AUBMC. ECT procedures are performed on outpatient and inpatient basis. The protocols and machines are state-of-the-art and following current evidence based practices.
New neuromodulation therapies including Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS), Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), Epidural Cortical Stimulation (EpCS) and new forms of focal ECT (FEAST) are also available as outpatient procedures.
- Outpatient Private Clinics
The outpatient psychiatric services cover the full range of psychiatric disorders. They are staffed with 4 psychiatrists (3 adults and 1 child and adolescent specialist), 2 psychologists (one adult and one child and adolescent specialist),1 psychotherapist(individual, Family & Couple Therapy), 1 psychometric assessment psychologist, 2 nurses and 4 clinical assistants. Efforts are underway to recruit additional psychologists and special educators.
- Out Patient Department (OPD)
Staffed by faculty and 2 clinical associates. It is one of the busiest OPD clinics at AUBMC.
- Psychological Assessment Center (PAC)
The PAC is concerned with the psychological, neuropsychological, and psychoeducational evaluations of children, adolescents and adults.
- Consultation Services
Staffed by faculty covering inpatient general medicine units, pediatrics, surgery, pain clinics and emergency room.
|Ziad Nahas, MD
||American Board of Psychiatry
||Mood Disorders & Neuromodulation
||961 1 350 000 Ext. 5650/1|
|Munir Khani, MD
||American Board of Psychiatry
|Leila Dirani, PhD
||Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychology
||961 1 350 000 Ext. 7888|
Brigitte Khoury, PhD
||American Board of Psychology
||Adult Clinical Psychology
|Fadi Maalouf, MD
||American Board of Psychiatry
||Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Farid Talih, MD
||American Board of Psychiatry,
American Board Certified in Sleep Medicine
|Sleep Disorders & Substance Abuse
Clinical Associates Faculty
Charles Baddoura, MD
||961 4 710224|
|Laila Farhood, PhD,M.S.N, C.S
||Individual and Family & Couple Psychotherapy
|Marwan Gharzeddine, PhD
||American Board of Psychology
||Adult Clinical Psychology
|Dory Hachem, MD
|Nabil Mikati, MD
|Hassen Al-Amin, MD
||Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor
||American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
|Omar Fattal, MD
||Adjunct Assistant Professor
||State medical Board of Ohio,
American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
|Tarek Rajji, MD
||American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
Residents - PGY I
Residents - PGY II
Clinical Psychology Interns
- The Mood Disorders Program
Depression often strikes during the prime of life and is estimated to impact 12% of all men, and 20% of women at some point during their lives. The World Health Organization currently ranks depression as one of the most disabling disease in the world. The devastating consequences of under treated depression include: difficulty in the workplace, absenteeism, and problems with relationships, marital and family discord. These statistics also apply to Lebanon and the region where AUBMC serves a major role in tertiary referrals.
Management of treatment-resistant mood disorder patients requires a proactive attitude from both the treating physician and the patient. The Mood Disorders Program’s aim is to research, develop and ultimately provide cutting edge therapies to depression and other mood disorders. By doing so, it provides much needed resources to local communities and individual health providers. It also serves as a concrete opportunity to foster the dialogue between basic and clinical research on campus.
The mission of the Mood Disorders Program is to disseminate and advance state-of-the-art science and treatment for clinical depression. It also serves as a state-of-the-art training center for future mood disorders scientists and clinicians. The collaboration between patient, family, referring physician and the Clinic’s health care providers is key. Drs. Nahas, Khani and Khoury provide leadership to the program. Aside from comprehensive evaluations and competent psychopharmacology, the program benefits from seasoned therapists to complement patients’ treatment plans, social work services, psychiatric assistant/coordinator for initial evaluations and follow up care.
- Neuromodulation Program
The use of somatic interventions to control or treat mental symptoms dates back to ancient times. Evidence for burr holes drilled into the skull to “cure the demons” goes back to the Neolithic age. The notions that convulsions and fever may help mental disorders have been known since Hippocrates, while in medieval times, make-believe surgeries were performed to extract the “stone of madness”. The current status of non-pharmacological brain stimulation therapies to treat psychiatric conditions is also rapidly evolving. Research applications range from the benign (transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) to the invasive (Deep Brain Stimulation) and cover a wide spectrum of disorders. Convulsive and sub-convulsive targeted brain stimulation treatments are inherently different from pharmacological interventions. As it stands, Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) remains the most widely adopted clinical brain stimulation therapy. And while efficacious, the relapse rates associated with it are very high and the side effects can be devastating. Both Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) are US FDA approved for depression and Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is approved for Obsessive-Compulsive disorder (OCD) under a humanitarian device exemption. The open reports of continuous high frequency DBS in depression and Tourette’s syndrome and Epidural Cortical Stimulation (EpCS) in depression are encouraging but preliminary.
The future of this promising field will undoubtedly involve better translating the knowledge gained from preclinical cellular and non-human animal studies into clinical brain stimulation therapeutic uses.
This emerging field of Neuromodulation is here to stay. In the US, involved physicians are now labeled ‘interventional psychiatrists’. All of these emerging technologies are now available at AUBMC. With Dr. Nahas’ expertise and standing in neuromodulation research, this program will provide the necessary framework to offer unique clinical services and develop cutting-edge research in the region and, to destigmatize psychiatric diseases and improve their acceptance as medical conditions.
- Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Program
The mission of AUBMC Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Program (CAPP) is to provide leadership in the field of child and adolescent mental health by integrating research, clinical practice, teaching and advocacy. It is expected that the program would be a center of excellence in the Arab region that would attract patients, trainees, funders and policymakers. CAPP is an integral part of the department of Psychiatry at AUBMC, and is directed by Dr. Fadi Maalouf.
- Here is a summary of the clinical, teaching and research activities:
I- Clinical Activities
- Outpatient Care
- Diagnostic Intake Service provides evaluation of all children and adolescents aged 0-18 referred for evaluation within the department of Psychiatry. Following a telephone screening with the parent, caregiver, and/or referring professional, the case is discussed in a treatment team meeting to best strategize the evaluation process. An evaluation includes a clinical interview/observation of the parent and the child, collecting information from other informants (school, previous treaters) and administration of rating scales as needed. This assessment would usually require around 3 visits. These data are synthesized into a case diagnosis, formulation and provision of treatment recommendations in consultation with parents and child. Many children are then referred for treatment in other services within the program (outpatient services, intensive outpatient services, etc.). This clinic is staffed with a child psychiatrist, a child psychologist and other mental health clinicians interfaces with the psychometric unit staff.
- Outpatient Clinics
a General clinic: Outpatient psychopharmacotherapeutic and psychotherapeutic services ranging from play therapy to cognitive behavioral therapy, parent coaching and supportive therapy.
b Child development clinic: serves children with a variety of developmental delays (Autism, speech delay, cognitive delay). It collaborates with the special kids program at AUBMC within the Department of Pediatrics.
c Special education services: This service staffed by a special educator includes a special education assessment of children with learning difficulties and coordination with the school system in order to implement and follow-up on educational recommendations.
- Inpatient Program
The Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Inpatient Service offers comprehensive diagnostic evaluation and treatment of children and adolescents (typical age ranges from 10-18 years old) with a variety of emotional and behavioral problems including mood disorders, anxiety disorders, psychotic disorders, severe disruptive behavior, and suicide attempts.
The inpatient treatment team includes a psychiatrist, a psychologist, registered nurses, a special education teacher, child life specialists, a social worker and an occupational/recreational therapist. In addition, pediatricians from a full range of medical subspecialties are available for consultations. The multi-disciplinary staff emphasizes a family-oriented approach and parents and care-givers are encouraged to be active participants in the treatment team throughout a child’s stay.
The program offers developmentally appropriate therapeutic activities in a closely supervised environment. Extensive opportunities for observation, assessment, and intervention are possible in this intensive setting. Referrals for specialized assessments including neuropsychological testing, speech and language testing, and occupational therapy assessments are also available.
Staff members develop an individualized treatment plan emphasizing safety for each patient during the hospital stay. The plan is closely coordinated with families, outpatient providers, and resource programs to coordinate aftercare plans and facilitate a smooth transition to home.
- Consultation-Liaison service (CL)
The CL service provides evaluation and brief treatment of medically-ill children and adolescents treated at AUBMC’s pediatric floors, emergency room and St. Jude service. These are children who present with psychiatric complications of a medical illness or a primary psychiatric disorder complicating a medical illness. Child maltreatment, complicated neuropsychiatric syndromes, medical illnesses presenting with psychiatric symptoms, emotional adjustment to medical illness, somatization syndromes, and compliance with care are among the many types of problems investigated in collaboration with pediatricians with the goal of facilitating medical care and emotional well-being. A multidisciplinary team including child psychiatry attending, psychiatry residents, psychologists and psychology interns will be staffing this service.
The child and adolescent psychiatry program serves as a training site for psychiatry residents who are rotating through their child psychiatry module, psychology interns and pediatric residents interested in elective clinical clerkship. It is expected that a fellowship program in child and adolescent psychiatry will be launched within a year.
Other educational experiences include elective clerkships for 4th year medical students, (AUB students as well as visiting students) in addition to electives for Pediatrics and family medicine residents. This is in addition to offering training opportunities for psychology interns.
Numerous research activities are being conducted by faculty members within the program and these projects offer opportunity for collaboration with other departments across the medical center and faculties across AUB
- Family and Couple Therapy
This program focuses on healthy family functioning and offers insights for prevention as well as intervention in families and other larger systems. In a culture like ours, where family ties are close, and the concept of family is undergoing social changes, the family remains an important unit of intervention.
Family therapy has a wide applicability to all classifications of psychiatric disorders. As such, the focus is on the relationship between individual psychopathology and family disturbance. Marital and family assessment models describe family difficulties on several system levels; the individuals, the dyads, the nuclear family, the extended family, the community and the larger culture. The therapist assesses developmental, cognitive, affective, communication and interpersonal domains.
- Psychological Assessment Center (PAC)
The PAC is part of the services of the psychiatry department. It provides psychological, neuropsychological, and psychoeducational evaluations for children, adolecents and adults, and serves as a hub for research and education on testing and assessment. The mission of the Psychological Assessment Center is to provide clinical patient services, develop data capture and reporting practices, and develop professional and remedial training to ensure a sustainable level of services. This program serves a critical node to various clinical services at AUBMC including neurology, pediatrics and neurosurgery. In research, the PAC is working on establishing practices to adapt and refine the psychometric tools and guidelines suitable for the region.
The Psychometric Assessment Unit offers inpatient and outpatient evaluations and is actively engaged in translation and validation of the psychometric tools. The Psychometric Assessment Unit is currently expanding its Psychometric Tools to cover all age and neuropsychiatric spectra. In a second phase, it intends to develop training for current staff and hire a neuropsychologist, establish clinical cooperation’s forums, develop data capture and reporting practices. Finally, in phase 3: Continuing development and remedial training for graduates, develop professional training program, develop quality reviews, establish Professional Reviews and international relations and establish practices to translate and refine Psychometric Tools and guidelines suitable for the region.
Information for Patients
- Assessments for children:
Children are often referred for an assessment of their cognitive abilities, achievement, and other important skills. The purpose of an assessment is to understand cognitive functioning and processes, in order to aid in making relevant decisions about the child. Evaluations aid in making diagnostic decisions, treatment decisions, and plan appropriate interventions for children across ages. The pocess of assessment often involves meeting with the parents and the child over several sessions that will include an interview, the administration of standardized tests, and sometimes the involvement of teachers or other professionals who know the child. Tests are usually administered one-on-one with the child and involve 'activities' that are familiar to children such as puzzles and questions and answers. At the end of the evaluation, the parents are provided with a written assessment report and are expalined the findings and recommendations. For appointments, please call the Psychiatry Department on 961-1-350000 ext.: 5660 or email email@example.com.
- Assessments for adults:
Assessment for adults serve the purpose of answering relevant questions about daily functioning, congnitive abilities, memory, intelligence, personality, and psychopathology. The process of assessment includes a clinical interview and standardized tests in a one-on-one setting, and feedback to the patient or caregiver. Standardized tests may be in the form of questionnaires, or activities that help evaluate reasoning, memory and attention. For appointments, please call the Psychiatry Department on 961-1-350000 ext.: 5660 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
All faculty members of the Department of Psychiatry cover psychiatric consults across AUBMC hospital and emergency room. Over the years, the Department of Psychiatry has established a consistent presence throughout the hospital and works closely with emergency medicine to optimize screening, evaluation and treatment of psychiatric patients who present for acute care. It is currently developing administrative protocol for handling psychiatric patients on general medicine and surgery units. Dr. Talih has specialized training in sleep disorders. He will establish a liaison with Pulmonary and Neurology to facilitate the evaluation of co-morbid psychiatric conditions in patients referred to the sleep disorders clinic.
- Child Protection Committee
Child maltreatment is a mental health problem not properly addressed in Lebanon. The lack of descriptive data and the fragmented initiatives by lawmakers and health care providers prevent the stakeholders from developing a need-based strategy and a protocol of care.
AUBMC is the first medical center in Lebanon and most probably in the Arab region to establish a Child Protection Committee (CPC). It is chaired by Drs. Maalouf and Dirani. Started in April 2010, the CPC intervenes when there is suspicion of child maltreatment encountered by any health care professional at AUBMC. The CPC is a multidisciplinary team composed of a family medicine physician, two pediatricians, a social worker, a pediatric nurse, a child psychologist, a child psychiatrist, a risk management officer and a bioethicist. Since its establishment, the CPC has been raising awareness regarding signs and symptoms of child maltreatment among health care professionals. The CPC also has had many cases that we evaluated and either connected with local community resources for follow-ups or referred to the legal system.
Health care professionals are not often familiar and comfortable with the identification of child maltreatment, unless the physical harm is obvious. They are not cognizant of the risk factors that put the child at a high suspicion of maltreatment and are not skilled to interview a potential victim and suspected perpetrator. In addition, health care professionals feel unprotected when reporting child abuse and avoid doing it by fear of retaliation. The CPC is working on filling in these pages.
The CPC and the department of Psychiatry are planning a national conference in September 2012 to disseminate knowledge on evidence-based assessment and intervention when suspecting child maltreatment in a medical setting and to share our practical experience of launching this effort within a medical center.
Arab Regional Center (ARC)
The Arab Research Center (ARC) was established in October 2010 at the American University of Beirut, Faculty of Medicine, at the Department of Psychiatry, and is currently overlooked by Dr. Brigitte Khoury. In its mission, the center is envisioned to be a center of excellence that will conduct research, training, and capacity building for mental health researchers and professionals in the Arab region. The center ultimately aims to contribute to the reduction of the mental health treatment gap in the Arab world, particularly in the low- and middle-income countries of the region through research and training initiatives.
ARC is currently collaborating with WHO on the revision of chapter V “Mental and Behavioral Disorders” in the tenth version of the International Classification of Diseases and related Problems. The aim of the revision process is to develop a clinically useful and culturally relevant classification system for the identification of people in need of mental health services, particularly in low and middle-income countries, for both primary care and specialty settings. This will improve the delivery of mental health services in the region through better detection of mental and behavioural disorders and the provision early/timely interventions. As a part of the ICD-10 revision process, ARC was designated as an International Field Study Center for the Arab region, one of only eight in the world, which is responsible for: 1) building a network of mental health specialists and researchers and primary care professionals from the Arab world, 2) ensuring that the professional and cultural perspectives of the region are considered as a fundamental part of the ICD revision process; 2) implementing formative field studies intended to inform the structure and content of the classification, including the development of protocols and their translation into French and Arabic as appropriate; and 3) implementing evaluative field trials following the completion of the draft classification in order to examine the validity and clinical utility of proposed changes.
During the past year (2010/2011), the center has built an extensive network of mental health and primary care researchers and professionals from across the Arab region and encouraged collaborative research that would eventually inform ICD-10 revision process. In June 2011, ARC in collaboration with WHO hosted a regional conference gathering twenty-eight mental health specialists and researchers from twelve different Arab countries to discuss the cultural applicability of ICD-10 classification of mental and behavioral disorders to the Arab region and come up with recommendations for the revisions of ICD-10 into ICD-11. Based on the fruitful discussions held during the meeting, participants initiated the development of several proposals for change that would inform the revision of ICD-10 and take into account the Arab culture in the International Classification system. A special issue in the Arab Journal of Psychiatry to be published in May, 2012 will be devoted to the cultural applicability of ICD-10 classification of mental and behavioral disorders and utility of the nosological changes proposed by the Arab region. Editorials announcing the special issue were already published in November 2011 in the Arab Journal of Psychiatry.
- Residency Program in Psychiatry
The AUB residency program in psychiatry is designed to ensure that its graduates are able to render effective professional care to psychiatric patients. The graduates will possess sound clinical judgment, requisite skills, and a high order of knowledge about the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of all psychiatric disorders, together with other common medical and neurological disorders that relate to the practice of psychiatry. Graduates will have a keen awareness of their own strengths and limitations, and recognize the necessity for continuing their own professional development.
The ultimate goal is to produce highly trained specialists in the field of psychiatry to provide quality clinical care, with special emphasis on the unique socio-cultural characteristics of the Arab communities but also meeting the standards of the ACGME-International Specialty Program Requirements for Graduate Medical Education in Psychiatry.
The mission of the program is to develop and graduate specialists in psychiatry who are highly capable, confident, ethical and humane in managing the complete spectrum of conditions that arise in the area of mental health care. The program focuses on developing specific general areas of medical competence, patient care, medical knowledge, interpersonal and communication skills and profession.
The AUB Psychiatry Residency Program involves multiple sites:
- AUBMC Inpatient Psychiatric Unit: A 10 bed specialized inpatient unit with support staff, nursing and therapists. The unit will also house a state-of-the-art Electroconvulsive Unit unique in the Middle East region.
- AUBMC Outpatient Private Clinics: Covering both child, adolescent and adult psychiatry and psychology
- AUBMC Outpatient Psychometric Unit
- AUBMC Outpatient Clinics (OPD) staffed by full time faculty and associate clinicians.
- AUBMC Inpatient Neurology, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics
- Hospital of the Cross: as a primary off-site program. This institution became a psychiatric hospital in 1953. It is one of the largest psychiatric hospital in the region and has had a long history of training students and residents. Drs. Dori Hachem and Charles Baddoura are both clinical associates in the AUB Department of Psychiatry and have long history in training and the education of medical students and residents.
- Other sites are being considered. These could include Lebanese established psychiatric inpatient services as well as international well-established residency programs in the US and Canada.
- Admission Requirements
Previous Training and Experience
- Admission into the AUB Residency Training Program in Psychiatry requires the trainee to have fulfilled the following minimal criteria: Possession of an MD degree or equivalent degree from a recognized, accredited Medical School that is recognized by the Lebanese Ministries of Education and Public Health.
- Graduates of medical schools (outside the United States and Canada) and who have obtained their medical degree from an approved medical school listed in the International Medical Education Directory (IMED) other than AUB are eligible to join our post-graduate programs if they have passed the:
USMLE Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (with grade 85 and above) or its equivalent, the International Foundations of Medicine Clinical Science Examination (IFOM CSE)
And the English Proficiency Exam that includes either TOEFL (minimum score of 573, 230, or 88 on PBT, CBT, or IBT respectively) or IELTS (minimum score of 7.0).
Physicians may enter psychiatry programs at either the first-year or second-year postgraduate level.
- Physicians entering at the second-year Psychiatry postgraduate level must document successful completion of a clinical year of education in an accredited specialty requiring comprehensive and continuous patient care, such as a program in internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, or transitional year program. For physicians entering at the PG-2 level after completion of such a program, the PG-1 year may be credited toward the 48-month requirement.
Duration of the Program
Residency education in psychiatry requires 48 months, of which twelve months may be completed in an accredited child and adolescent psychiatry program. Although residency is best completed on a full-time basis, part-time training at no less than half time is permissible to accommodate residents with personal commitments (e.g., child care).
- Clinical Psychology Training
The Clinical Psychology Training Program at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC), Department of Psychiatry, was launched recently (October 2011) and is currently headed by Dr. Brigitte Khoury and Dr. Leyla Dirani. It covers two academic years, with the first one included as practicum courses within the MA program, and the second year completed post-MA. Students who are accepted in the program will commit to two years of training, at the end of which they will obtain a certificate of training in clinical psychology from AUB-MC Department of Psychiatry. The program incorporates outpatient and inpatient training as well as psychological testing and diagnosis and hence provides experience in the main tasks performed by psychologists in clinical settings. The availability of a child or adult track to choose from allows for more focus in the training and eventually provides well-rounded clinicians to the community, able to fulfill the growing demand of patients for mental health services. The program aims to teach interns psychological interviewing, diagnosis, testing, treatment planning, various psychotherapeutic approaches (mainly Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Psychodynamic Therapy, Couple Therapy, Family Therapy, Group Therapy, and Individual versus Group Therapy), psychological/psychiatric crisis management, professionalism and ethical conduct. Interns will also get trained in various clinical settings (inpatient and outpatient) and in various treatment modalities (individual versus group therapy).
- Ziad Nahas, MD
Validation of the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) and Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology – Self-Report (IDS-SR) in a Sample of Lebanese Psychiatric Outpatients. The present research seeks to validate the Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology – Self Report (IDS-SR) and the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) to assess clinical severity of depressed Lebanese adults in a clinical setting. The IDS-SR and PHQ-9 have been extensively studied in clinical trials. The IDS-SR was the primary outcome measure in the largest NIMH sponsored antidepressant clinical treatment trial, the Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D). The PHQ-9 has been studied in both psychiatric and primary care settings and shown to be associated to the improved outcomes.
Assessing the Impact of Stimulus Strength and Duration on Seizure Threshold and Time for Orientation Recovery. A critical issue for ECT is determining the most efficient energy to be administered for each patient. The energy is function of several electrical parameters including amplitude of the electric pulse, the width of the electric pulse and the frequency and duration of the train of stimuli (consecutive pulses). The proposed research will, for the first time, directly compare two fixed amplitude (low – high) titration regimens to determine seizure threshold. This is not a clinical trial comparing efficacy of 2 fixed amplitudes over the course of several ECT sessions.
For more information, please contact the Research Assistant, Ms. Mia Atwi at Ext. 5658 or via email: email@example.com
- Fadi Maalouf, MD
Dr. Maalouf’s main research interest is in the area of child and adolescent depression and suicide prevention. Dr. Maalouf has received research funding from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and has published on neurocognitive impairment and emotion processing in adolescent depression. In addition, he was the recipient of a young investigator grant award from the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention (AFSP) which allowed him to recently complete a study investigating attentional control and emotion processing in high-intent suicide ideations in adolescents. He was also awarded an intramural grant in 2009 to investigate neurocognitive predictors of treatment response in pediatric depression, a study that is ongoing at the moment. Dr. Maalouf is also interested in studying new and promising interventions in adolescent depression including Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS).
Furthermore, in an attempt to address the problem of paucity of epidemiological data in the field of child psychiatry in the Middle East, Dr. Maalouf has launched the first study looking at the prevalence of psychiatric disorders in adolescents in Greater Beirut in collaboration with Dr. Lilian Ghadour Abiad from the Faculty of Health Sciences. Data from this study and from the established Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Clinic registry at AUBMC will inform clinicians, researchers and policy makers about the distribution of psychiatric disorders among children and adolescents nationally and the characteristics of those who seek treatment.
Dr. Maalouf is also collaborating with other researchers in the medical center to investigate the prevalence of depressive and anxiety symptoms and assess neurocognitive functioning in adolescents with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PI: Dr. Ghazeeri, Co-I: Dr. Maalouf) and on “Promoting psychosocial and mental health care through community-based educational workshops for teachers and parents: a follow up to mental health assessment in civilians exposed to traumatic war events in the south of Lebanon” (PI: Dr. Farhood, Co-I: Dr. Maalouf).
For more information, please contact the Research Assistant, Ms. Nayla Hariz, or Ms. Lucy Tawidian at Ext. 5658 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
- Brigitte Khoury, PhD
The Relaxation Exercise and Social Support Trial-RESST: A community based randomized trial (this study is in collaboration with faculty members from the Faculty of Health Sciences; Kobeissi, L. P.I.).
This intervention study aims to evaluate the impact of a psycho-social intervention on medically unexplained vaginal discharge (MUVD) in a group of married, low-income Lebanese women, aged 18-49, and suffering from low to moderate levels of anxiety and/or depression. The intervention components included 12 sessions of structured social support group discussions and trainer-supervised relaxing exercises (once per week). Anxiety and/or depression were also assessed in relation to unexplained symptoms and somatic complaints. This study was funded by the Wellcome Trust Fund.
Arab youth and development of their reproductive health and their sexuality: a regional study.
The objective of this study is to explore the beliefs, attitudes and behavioral patterns of Arab youth regarding different aspects of their sexual and reproductive health. The data was collected through an online survey with links to it advertised on Facebook pages of universities and Arab youth online forums. The survey was composed of seven sections, which included: Sexual education/ Development, Masturbation, Virginity, Sexual Experiences and Relationships, Marriage, Sex and the Internet, and Demographics. Data will allow us to understand Arab youth better, recommend some interventions when need be, as well as raise awareness of parents, health professionals and educators to play a more active and positive role in the reproductive health of our youth. This study was funded by Issam Fares Institute for Policy Studies.
The effect of Vitamin D on cognitive functioning (this study is in collaboration with Dr. Hala Darwish, PI, Faculty of nursing).
The proposed study design is a longitudinal quasi experimental with repeated measures to test the effects of vitamin D on cognitive performance and inflammatory responses (pre and post intervention only) at 3, 6 and 12 months after intervention. In this proposed study we will examine whether vitamin D alone will follow the same pattern of change in cognition, inflammatory response, insulin resistance and musculoskeletal function.
The purpose of this study is to establish the comparative norms of the Arabic version of the Montreal cognitive assessment tool in Lebanon in adults and older adults. Also to be able to discern whether supplementing vitamin D for 12 months will lead to an improvement and how this improvement compares to the norm. This study was funded by URB.
Quality of Life and Mental Health Status in the Thalassemias (in collaboration with faculty from the department of Internal Medicine, Dr. Ali Taher, PI)
The purpose of this study is to investigate the psychosocial characteristics of adult patients with beta-thalassemia and thalassemia intermedia, as well as their mental health and their quality of life. Results from this study may represent the basis for the use of a holistic approach to treatment of adult thalassemia major and intermedia patients. This approach would then include a psychological and social aspect of the treatment along with the medical one, with the aim of improving the quality of life of the patients as well as their medical condition.
For more information, please contact the Research Assistant, Ms. Yasmine Fayad at Ext. 5668 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Leila Dirani, PhD
An explorative study of the psychological assessment tools administered in Lebanon with children and adolescents. This study sought to identify the different psychological assessment tools used by psychologists in Lebanon to assess children/adolescents, as well as possible modifications introduced in the administration and content of these tests to reduce cross-cultural biases. In addition, it aimed to identify the gaps in the field of psychological testing in Lebanon. Findings from this study will pave the way towards the larger aim of standardizing one of these tests to the Lebanese context in the future. This study has been funded by the Council for Scientific Research Lebanon.
Adapting the Childhood Autism Rating Scale, Second Edition (CARS2) to the Lebanese population. The Childhood Autism Rating Scale is a scale that helps in identifying the severity level of autism in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. CARS. is a worldwide user-friendly instrument. It complements the diagnosis of autism with adding information on the level of severity and therefore allowing the professional to tailor suitable interventions. This study is supported by the UNAPEIL (The National Union of Associations, Parents, and Friends of the Disabled in Lebanon) and funded by Santé Sud (European NGO) under the framework of the project « Promotion des droits de la personne en situation de handicap mental en Méditerranée (Algérie, Liban et Tunisie)
Developmental Outcome of Former Preterm Children in Lebanon: a Pilot Study at AUBMC- PI: Lama Charfeddine- Co-PI: Leyla Akoury-Dirani-This study aims at determining the prevalence of developmental delay and other disabilities in former premature infants born at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUB-MC). It is meant to serve as a feasibility study providing background data that would form the basis for a national study and possibly a regional one. Results may be used to estimate national needs for services such as early intervention programs and developmental therapy programs. In addition, this study has the potential to increase public awareness regarding prematurity and its’ outcome and to highlight the importance of early intervention in preventing or decreasing the burden of developmental delays.
For more information, please contact the Research Assistant, Ms. Maysam Alameddine at Ext. 5678 or via email email@example.com
A Journal Club is taking place every Monday at 1:00 PM in the psychiatry conference room. Its aim is to discuss new and recent articles on psychiatry and psychology related matters to keep up with the literature.
Feb. 13, 2012 - Ziad Nahas, MD
Professor and Chair
Department of Psychiatry
“Childhood Maltreatment Predicts Unfavorable Course of Illness and Treatment Outcome in Depression: A Meta-Analysis" (to be a pdf link) - American Journal of Psychiatry
Feb. 20, 2012 – Brigitte Khoury, PhD
Department of Psychiatry
"Prevention of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder by Early Treatment: Results From the Jerusalem Trauma Outreach and Prevention Study" (to be a pdf link) – Archives of General Psychiatry
Feb. 27, 2012 – Claartje Bruin, Visiting Medical Student
Department of Psychiatry
"Mirror Neuron Activity Associated with Social Impairments but not Age in Autism Spectrum Disorder." (to be a pdf link) – Biological Psychiatry
Mar. 05, 2012 – Nima Sheth, Visiting Medical Students
Department of Psychiatry
"Determinants of Early Alcohol Use In Healthy Adolescents: The Differential Contribution of Neuroimaging and Psychological Factors." (to be a pdf link) - neuropsychopharmacology
Mar. 19, 2012 – Farid Talih, MD
Department of Psychiatry
"Intelligence: New Findings and Theoretical Developments." (to be a pdf link) – American Psychologist
Mar. 26, 2012 – Joanne Rechdan, Research Assistant
Department of Psychiatry
"Cognitive and Affective Empathy in Depression Linked to Executive Control" (to be a pdf link) – Psychiatry Research
Mar. 26, 2012 – Laila Farhoud, PhD,
Department of Psychiatry
"Prevalence and Predictors for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression and General Health in a Population From Six Villages in South Lebanon." (to be a pdf link) – "Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology"
- Psychiatric Nursing Journal Club
It is a weekly Journal Club that takes place everyThursday.
8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Department of Psychiatry
American University of Beirut Medical Center
Building 56,3rd Floor
PO Box: 11-0236
Beirut - Lebanon
Tel: 961 1 350000, Ext. 5650/1/2
Fax: 961 1 749209