Troubled minds in the gulf: Mental health research in the United Arab Emirates (1989-2008)

Ossama T. Osman, M. Afifi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


This article aims to describe the characteristics of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) mental health research published from 1989 to 2008 in PubMed indexed journals to identify gaps and to suggest recommendations. Our sensitive PubMed search for general and mental health publications in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and the UAE revealed a total of 192 mental health studies published in GCC countries over the past 20 years, which constituted less than 1% of the GCC total biomedical research. Most of the studies were from the UAE University and were either epidemiologic (48.98%) or psychometric (24.49%) with no studies addressing mental health systems research. Underrepresented were studies on health promotion and interdisciplinary, cross-cultural, ethnic, and gender research. There is a need for more international collaboration and for policies that link research conducted to services provided with longitudinal studies to test the long-term impact of early preventive interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48S-53S
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal of Public Health
Issue numberSUPPL. 3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • GCC countries
  • PubMed
  • United Arab Emirates University
  • collaboration
  • cross-cultural research
  • health system research
  • mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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