Epidemiology of Mental Health Disorders and Ageing

Where we are

Parc Sanitari Sant Joan de Déu

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Our group began its journey in 1997 with two Health Research Fund (FIS) projects on the needs of patients with schizophrenia, the family impact of the disorder and the role of health services in treatment. From these early studies, the group has expanded its area of interest to include the epidemiology and social impact of mental health disorders in general, and the evaluation of treatments in both primary and specialised care.

More recently, our area of expertise has expanded to the epidemiology of neuropsychiatric diseases and ageing and to study health services in other medical specialities.

Our group is part of the Centre for Biomedical Network Research on Mental Health (CIBERSAM)  and is a consolidated group recognised by AGAUR (2017SGR 1361).

Among others, the group has participated in major multinational epidemiology projects including the WHO initiative, World Mental Health Surveys, the Global Burden of Disease Project or the ATHLOS project. In addition to the generation of multiple scientific publications, data from the studies in this area have been used for health planning in Catalonia, Spain and across Europe.

Research lines

  1. Clinical, population and statistical epidemiology

Scientific objectives

  1. To study the sociodemographic characteristics and risk factors associated with mental illness.
  2. To develop applications based on new technologies to reduce the impact of mental health disorders on the population.
  3. To establish the co-morbidity of mental health disorders with physical disorders.
  4. To define healthy ageing and predisposing factors.
  5. To analyse how health services care for people who are ageing and the population impact of different public health interventions and therapies.
  6. To analyse the relationship between ageing and neuropsychiatric diseases.

Area/Field of expertise

Mental health disorders are the group of diseases with the largest impact on the health of the population in the most economically developed countries according to the World Health Organization and the Global Burden of Disease Study. Between 20% and 30% of people will be affected by a mental health condition at some point in their lives. In many cases, this can be highly debilitating. Our interdisciplinary group includes psychiatrists, psychologists, statisticians, sociologists and basic researchers. We examine the factors that protect against or increase the risk of mental health conditions. We also explore the therapeutic options for people with such diseases. Our aim is to strengthen both preventive and therapeutic strategies.

We embarked on a new line of inquiry in 2009 relating to the problems associated with the ageing process. Also in 2009, a new European project (COURAGE-Collaborative Research on Ageing in Europe)  was announced  and our group participated as a partner. We developed measuring instruments to assess health problems related to ageing, of which neuropsychiatric disorders were the most relevant. Within this same project, a representative non-institutionalised population sample of 4,700 people in Spain was selected. This sample has been followed up for three years and is expected to continue for six years.

Being well aware of the importance of mental health in achieving physical, mental and social well-being during the ageing process, researchers pay special attention to the person's medical history when determining the factors that promote active/healthy ageing and to pinpoint when exactly an intervention is needed to improve the health of each individual. The aim is to translate this knowledge into health innovations that can be easily incorporated into our health and social support systems.

Group members

Projects

Project name:
Contratos Miguel Servet. Beneficiario: Beatriz Olaya
Leader
Beatriz Olaya Guzmán
Funding entities:
Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Code
CP20/00040
Starting - finishing date:
2021 - 2025
Project name:
Subvencions per a la contractació de personal investigador en formació (PIF-Salut). Beneficiari: Carlota de Miquel
Leader
Josep Maria Haro Abad
Funding entities:
Departament de Salut - Generalitat de Catalunya
Code
SLT017/20/000138
Starting - finishing date:
2021 - 2024
Project name:
Contratos Miguel Servet. Beneficiario: Beatriz Olaya (Proyecto)
Leader
Beatriz Olaya Guzmán
Funding entities:
Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII)
Code
CP20/00040_Bolsa
Starting - finishing date:
2021 - 2024
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Theses

  • Estudio de enfermedades crónicas de salud y funcionamiento en personas de mediana edad y mayores desde una perspectiva epidemiológica
    Author
    Bayes Marin, Ivet
    Institution
    UNIVERSIDAD DE BARCELONA
    31/05/2021
  • La qualitat de vida en les persones que pateixen esquizofrènia. Resultats de les escales genèriques i específiques
    Author
    Domenech Abella, Cristina
    Institution
    UNIVERSIDAD DE BARCELONA
    15/12/2020
  • Red social, soledad y depresión.
    Author
    Domènech Abella, Joan
    Institution
    UNIVERSIDAD DE BARCELONA
    01/12/2019
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News

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