Prevalence and treatment of anxiety and depression in Arab people and the potential of Internet-delivered cognitive behavioural therapy
thesisposted on 28.03.2022, 01:45 authored by Rony Kayrouz
Little is known about the prevalence of anxiety and depressive disorders amongst Arab people. Furthermore, it is not clear if psychological treatments for disorders of anxiety and depression designed for Western populations are effective with Arab populations. This thesis aimed to: 1) Identify rates of psychological distress, barriers to treatment seeking, and acceptability of psychological treatments in Arab people; 2) Explore strategies for recruiting Arab people into psychological research; and 3) Determine the efficacy of Internet-delivered cognitive behavioural therapy (iCBT) for Arab people with symptoms of anxiety and depression. Using survey methodology, the results of Study 1 and 2 indicated that regardless of location, Arab people reported difficulty accessing treatment, high rates of psychological distress, but were willing to try face-to-face and online mental health services, such as iCBT. Study 3 found that Facebook was a more time-effective method for recruiting participants than traditional print and radio media. Using open trial designs, the results of Study 4 and 5 indicated that iCBT was efficacious and acceptable when administered in the English language to Arab people. Study 6, another open trial, found that iCBT was efficacious and acceptable for Arab people when administered in both the English and Arabic languages. The first two studies contribute to our understanding of the mental health needs of Arab people. Study 3 contributes to our understanding of effective recruitment methods for hard-to-reach populations. Studies 4, 5 and 6 contribute to data indicating that iCBT is efficacious for non-Western people with symptoms of anxiety and depressive disorders. Thus, in combination, these studies contribute to an emerging body of literature regarding the unmet mental health needs of Arab people and highlight the potential of iCBT for improving their access to evidence-based psychological treatments.