Crisis-based psychiatry curriculum update: A cross-sectional study and an expert reflection from Syria

Youssef Latifeh, Ibrahem Hanafi, Sami Alhoulaiby, Fares Alahdab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Throughout human history, humanitarian catastrophes had a profound impact on the health and wellbeing of the local populations where they took place. The Syrian war was no different, rather it was the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II. Syrians’ wellbeing was severely affected during this past decade, as had Syria's healthcare and mental health facilities. Syrian doctors have faced unprecedented difficulties and challenges across clinical disciplines and services, particularly in psychiatry. Medical students may play a central role in attenuating the burden of psychiatric diseases on their local community. However, a modification of the psychiatry curriculum to meet the current needs is an urgent necessity. Most of the published reports in psychiatry about Syrians were done on refugee populations in neighboring countries and worldwide. In contrast, this study captured the opinions of professors of psychiatry, specialists practicing psychiatrists, psychiatry residents, and a sample of senior medical students around Syria regarding the impact of war on different psychiatric diseases, and their suggestions to increase/reduce the teaching hours allocated to each of them. The votes were weighted then tested against crisis-related published psychiatry reports. The results suggested significant adjustments to the allocated training hours in the curriculum of psychiatry in Syrian medical schools. Increasing the focus of the curriculum of psychiatry on the prevalent disorders and conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, acute stress disorder, anxiety, and depression would empower fresh graduates to manage the basic cases of psychiatry, thus alleviating the consequences of the large shortage of psychiatrists inside Syria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102681
JournalAsian Journal of Psychiatry
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Crisis period
  • Curriculum reform
  • Psychiatry
  • Refugees
  • Syria
  • War neurosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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