Publications by authors named "Majid Alabdulla"

16 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Prevalence and Potential Determinants of COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy and Resistance in Qatar: Results from a Nationally Representative Survey of Qatari Nationals and Migrants between December 2020 and January 2021.

Vaccines (Basel) 2021 May 7;9(5). Epub 2021 May 7.

Department of Psychiatry, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha P.O Box 3050, Qatar.

Global COVID-19 pandemic containment necessitates understanding the risk of hesitance or resistance to vaccine uptake in different populations. The Middle East and North Africa currently lack vital representative vaccine hesitancy data. We conducted the first representative national phone survey among the adult population of Qatar, between December 2020 and January 2021, to estimate the prevalence and identify potential determinants of vaccine willingness: acceptance (strongly agree), resistance (strongly disagree), and hesitance (somewhat agree, neutral, somewhat disagree). Bivariate and multinomial logistic regression models estimated associations between willingness groups and fifteen variables. In the total sample, 42.7% (95% CI: 39.5-46.1) were accepting, 45.2% (95% CI: 41.9-48.4) hesitant, and 12.1% (95% CI: 10.1-14.4) resistant. Vaccine resistant compared with hesistant and accepting groups reported no endorsement source will increase vaccine confidence (58.9% vs. 5.6% vs. 0.2%, respectively). Female gender, Arab ethnicity, migrant status/type, and vaccine side-effects concerns were associated with hesitancy and resistance. COVID-19 related bereavement, infection, and quarantine status were not significantly associated with any willingness group. Absence of or lack of concern about contracting the virus was solely associated with resistance. COVID-19 vaccine resistance, hesitance, and side-effects concerns are high in Qatar's population compared with those globally. Urgent public health engagement should focus on women, Qataris (non-migrants), and those of Arab ethnicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9050471DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8151168PMC
May 2021

Development of mental health services for lower-skilled migrant workers in Qatar.

Asian J Psychiatr 2021 May 26;62:102709. Epub 2021 May 26.

Mental Health Services, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar; Qatar University, College of Medicine, Doha, Qatar.

The largest group of migrants in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are lower-skilled migrant workers. GCC countries have witnessed significant healthcare infrastructure investments over recent decades. Despite this, they are lagging to mainstream the mental health needs of lower-skilled migrants into national health policy frameworks. Qatar is one of the GCC countries where lower-skilled migrants constitute 50 per cent of population. In this article,we provide an overview of the development of specialist mental health service for lower-skilled migrants' and discuss the challenges, and measures taken by the State of Qatar to mainstream their health needs into national health policy framework.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajp.2021.102709DOI Listing
May 2021

COVID-19 pandemic fears and obsessive-compulsive symptoms in adolescents with pre-existing mental disorders: An exploratory cross-sectional study.

Clin Child Psychol Psychiatry 2021 May 28:13591045211017606. Epub 2021 May 28.

Mental Health Service, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar.

Background: Previous research has established an association between pandemic fears and the development of obsessive-compulsive symptoms mainly in the general population.

Aim: To explore whether COVID-19 pandemic fears are associated with obsessive-compulsive symptoms and vice versa in adolescents with preexisting mental and behavioural disorders.

Methods: A questionnaire-based cross-sectional study among adolescents with pre-existing mental disorders. The extent of worrying related to the COVID-19 pandemic was measured using the COVID-19 inventory whereas obsessive-compulsive symptoms were assessed using the obsessive-compulsive inventory-revised (OCI-R). Pearson correlation coefficient () was used to explore the relationship between COVID-19 pandemic fears and the development of obsessive-compulsive symptoms.

Results: A total of 57 patients out of 63 participants (90.4%) had a COVID-19 inventory score of 12 or higher suggesting that a vast majority of young people with mental disorders had significant pandemic-related worries. Out of these 57 patients, over half (31) had an OCI-R modified score of 17 or higher indicating significant obsessive-compulsive symptoms. A positive correlation was found between the means of the two scores. This relationship was statistically significant - { = 0.405, Sig. (two-tailed) = 0.001}.

Conclusion: Adolescents with mental disorders can exhibit significant pandemic fears and this is likely to be associated with obsessive-compulsive symptoms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/13591045211017606DOI Listing
May 2021

Combating COVID-19 pandemic with technology: Perceptions of Mental Health Professionals towards Telepsychiatry.

Asian J Psychiatr 2021 07 10;61:102677. Epub 2021 May 10.

Hamad Medical Corporation, Department of Psychiatry, Doha, Qatar; Qatar University, College of Medicine, Doha, Qatar.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajp.2021.102677DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8108472PMC
July 2021

COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in perinatal women: a cross sectional survey.

J Perinat Med 2021 Apr 27. Epub 2021 Apr 27.

Department of Psychiatry, Mental Health Services, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar.

Objectives: To explore attitudes to COVID-19 vaccination among perinatal women.

Methods: A nationwide online, cross-sectional survey was conducted in Qatar from 15th October 2020 to 15th November 2020 with voluntary participation open to all adult residents. Of the respondents, the population group for this study comprised the 341 pregnant and breastfeeding participants. The survey utilized a composite questionnaire incorporating a validated instrument to measure vaccine attitudes. The responses were recorded and analysed with statistical analysis being performed with SPSS software. Outcome measures included intentions towards vaccination and potential factors influencing vaccine hesitancy (contextual factors, vaccine specific concerns and group/individual influences).

Results: Perinatal women exhibited a vaccine hesitancy rate of 25% towards COVID-19 immunisation. The main concerns of the group were of infection risks and main factor determining vaccine hesitancy was of vaccine specific safety concerns. Previous vaccine "acceptors" showed vaccine hesitancy to COVID-19 immunisation. A third of the group cited non availability of the vaccine as a concern.

Conclusions: COVID-19 vaccine trials amongst pregnant and lactating women have lagged behind those for general populations and this has compounded concerns around safety in this special group. Perinatal women constitute a vulnerable group and play an important role in vaccination of wider family members. This study highlights the need for trials and data for COVID-19 vaccine in this group to be able to achieve appreciable numbers needed for herd immunity and ultimately control of the pandemic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/jpm-2021-0069DOI Listing
April 2021

Clozapine prescribing and safety during COVID-19.

Asian J Psychiatr 2021 Jun 10;60:102658. Epub 2021 Apr 10.

Hamad Medical Corporation, Qatar; College of Medicine Qatar University, Qatar. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajp.2021.102658DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8035804PMC
June 2021

Suspected Agomelatine-induced restless legs syndrome: a case report.

BMC Psychiatry 2021 04 7;21(1):180. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar.

Background: Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is a sensorimotor disorder characterized by unpleasant and distressing sensations in the lower limbs that are more pronounced in the evening, commence or worsen at rest, and show partial or complete relief following movement. It can occur as a primary disorder, secondary to medical conditions or treatment with medications including but not limited to antidepressants or antipsychotics.

Case Presentation: A 32-year old man with major depressive disorder showed partial response to Escitalopram 10 mg daily. Agomelatine 25 mg at night was added to Escitalopram to treat his residual depressive symptoms, namely insomnia and tiredness. Within two days he developed restlessness and unpleasant sensations in his legs which were worse at night. Symptom severity increased over the following days, prompting an urgent consultation a week later. The patient's presentation met the criteria for RLS. Agomelatine was discontinued leaving the patient on Escitalopram alone. The patient's symptoms improved within 24 h of stopping Agomelatine, with complete resolution four days later. There was no recurrence of RLS during follow-up. The patient scored 6 on Naranjo's adverse drug reaction probability scale, indicating a probable adverse drug reaction caused by Agomelatine.

Conclusions: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first case report of suspected Agomelatine-induced RLS. Clinicians need to be aware of RLS to enable prompt diagnosis and management. We suggest adding Agomelatine to the list of agents that can potentially induce RLS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12888-021-03175-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8025526PMC
April 2021

Ischaemic stroke as the presenting feature of COVID-19: a series of three cases from Qatar.

Oxf Med Case Reports 2021 Mar 8;2021(3):omab006. Epub 2021 Mar 8.

Department of Psychiatry, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar.

Most cases of stroke associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) occur during the course of a characteristic COVID-19 respiratory illness. We report three patients where the presenting feature of COVID-19 was stroke. Two patients had no respiratory symptoms throughout their clinical course. In each case, COVID-19 was confirmed by a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test and the diagnosis of ischaemic stroke by brain imaging. The patients were relatively young (40, 45 and 50 years). None had a prior history of cerebrovascular events. Stroke risk factors were absent in one, limited to overweight and smoking in another but more prominent in the third patient. Two patients had large vessel occlusion and elevated D-dimer levels. Multiple infarcts were seen in two patients. Clinicians should consider the possibility of COVID-19 in patients presenting with stroke and conversely consider investigating for stroke if a patient with COVID-19, even if mildly ill, develops acute neurological symptoms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/omcr/omab006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7947264PMC
March 2021

Burnout and job satisfaction among psychiatrists in the Mental Health Service, Hamad Medical Corporation, Qatar.

Asian J Psychiatr 2021 Apr 25;58:102619. Epub 2021 Feb 25.

Consultant Psychiatrist, Mental Health Service, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar.

Background: Job satisfaction is a critical concern among medical staff and directly affects patient safety and quality of health care services. Burnout has been reported to be correlated with job satisfaction.

Aims: This study aimed to determine the prevalence of burnout and level of job satisfaction among psychiatrists working in the Mental Health Service, Hamad Medical Corporation, Qatar, and examine correlations among socio-demographic variables, burnout, and job satisfaction.

Method: A cross-sectional survey was conducted using a socio-demographic questionnaire, the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), and the Job Descriptive Index (JDI).

Results: One-third of psychiatrists reported high levels of emotional exhaustion, with a similar proportion describing low levels of personal accomplishment. Less than 20 % demonstrated high levels of depersonalization. Trainees were more burned out than senior psychiatrists. Opportunities for promotion was the only factor with which the majority of psychiatrists were not satisfied.

Conclusions: The prevalence of high burnout in psychiatrists remains lower in Qatar than in other countries. Lower levels of satisfaction with co-workers, work, supervision, opportunities for promotion, and the job in general increased emotional exhaustion and depersonalization. Interestingly, satisfaction with salary did not have a significant effect on burnout.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajp.2021.102619DOI Listing
April 2021

COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and attitudes in Qatar: A national cross-sectional survey of a migrant-majority population.

Influenza Other Respir Viruses 2021 05 19;15(3):361-370. Epub 2021 Feb 19.

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Background: Vaccine hesitancy is a global threat undermining control of preventable infections. Emerging evidence suggests that hesitancy to COVID-19 vaccination varies globally. Qatar has a unique population with around 90% of the population being economic migrants, and the degree and determinants of hesitancy are not known.

Methods: This study was carried out to evaluate the degree of vaccine hesitancy and its socio-demographic and attitudinal determinants across a representative sample. A national cross-sectional study using validated hesitancy measurement tool was carried out from October 15, 2020, to November 15, 2020. A total of 7821 adults completed the survey. Relevant socio-demographic data along with attitudes and beliefs around COVID-19 vaccination were collected from the respondents.

Results: 20.2% of the respondents stated they would not take the vaccine and 19.8% reported being unsure about taking the prospective COVID-19 vaccine. Citizens and females were more likely to be vaccine hesitators than immigrants and males, respectively. Concerns around the safety of COVID-19 vaccine and its longer-term side effects were the main concerns cited. Personal research around COVID-19 and vaccine were by far the most preferred methods that would increase confidence in accepting the vaccine across all demographic groups.

Conclusions: This study reports an overall vaccine hesitancy of 20% toward the COVID-19 vaccine and the influence of social media on attitudes toward vaccination which is in keeping with emerging evidence. This finding comes at a time that is close to the start of mass immunization and reports from a migrant-majority population highlighting important socio-demographic determinants around vaccine hesitancy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/irv.12847DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8014858PMC
May 2021

Establishing comprehensive forensic mental health services in Qatar.

Asian J Psychiatr 2021 Mar 5;57:102590. Epub 2021 Feb 5.

Hamad Medical Corporation, Mental Health Services, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar. Electronic address:

Qatar has experienced exponential economic and healthcare infrastructural development recently. Mental health has been prioritized for development by the state with the launching of the ambitious National Mental Health Strategy in 2013 which incorporates the development of specialist Forensic psychiatry services. Traditionally, some aspects of forensic psychiatry care were provided under general psychiatry, being largely reactive. The new strategy supported the development of specialist Forensic service with a focus on developing safer communities, preventing victimization and supporting the criminal justice system. We provide an overview of the development of this service in Qatar, one of the first of its kind in the region.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajp.2021.102590DOI Listing
March 2021

Psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic within institutional quarantine and isolation centres and its sociodemographic correlates in Qatar: a cross-sectional study.

BMJ Open 2021 01 31;11(1):e045794. Epub 2021 Jan 31.

Psychiatry, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar.

Setting: The State of Qatar has had one of the highest COVID-19 infection rates globally and has used state-managed quarantine and isolation centres to limit the spread of infection. Quarantine and isolation have been shown to negatively affect the mental health of individuals. Qatar has a unique population, with around 90% of the population being economic migrants and a majority being blue-collar workers and labourers.

Objectives: This study was carried out to evaluate the psychological impact of institutional isolation and quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in Qatar. The study also explored the sociodemographic correlates of this psychological impact.

Design, Participants And Intervention: A cross-sectional study involving 748 consenting individuals in institutional quarantine and isolation in Qatar during the months of June and July 2020 was carried out. Relevant sociodemographic data along with depressive and anxiety symptomatology scores were collected from consenting adults at these facilities.

Results: 37.4% (n=270) of respondents reported depressive symptoms and 25.9% (n=189) reported anxiety symptoms. The scores were higher for individuals in isolation facilities and higher for migrants from poor socioeconomic group (p<0.001 for both). Within this group, although worries about infection were widely reported, lack of contact with the family was cited as one of the most important sources of distress. Respondents reported that contact with the family and reliable information were important factors that helped during the duration of isolation and quarantine.

Conclusions: Our study reported significantly elevated scores for depression and anxiety during institutional quarantine, which is in keeping with emerging evidence. However, in contrast to other studies reporting mostly from native populations, this study of a population with an overwhelming majority of immigrants highlights the special mental health needs of this specific group and can inform future healthcare policies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-045794DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7852068PMC
January 2021

Mental wellbeing of healthcare workers working in quarantine centers during the COVID-19 pandemic in Qatar.

Qatar Med J 2020 4;2020(3):39. Epub 2021 Jan 4.

Communicable Disease Centre Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar.

Background: Healthcare workers managing Coronavirus 19 (COVID-19) patients are at increased risk of poor mental wellbeing. The available literature on the psychological impact in the Arabian Gulf region is limited, and a more in-depth analysis of factors affecting frontline healthcare workers' mental wellbeing is warranted. The aim of this study was to evaluate and explore healthcare workers' wellbeing working in quarantine centers in Qatar.

Methods: This study was a cross-sectional, web-based survey conducted on healthcare workers managing patients in designated quarantine centers. Healthcare workers associated with 51 COVID-19 quarantine centers were eligible to participate in this survey from April 19 to May 3, 2020. The primary outcome of interest was mental wellbeing as measured by the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale (WEMWBS).

Results: A total of 127 of 169 contacted staff members completed the survey, with a participation rate of 75%. Approximately 17.4% of participants had well-being scores of less than 45, indicating suboptimal wellbeing and a high risk of psychological distress and depression. The multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that nurses are associated with increased risk (more than the fivefold higher risk of having WEMWBS score < 45) of adverse mental wellbeing (adjusted OR 5.65; 95% CI 0.57, 56.4;  = 0.140).

Conclusion: The psychological impact of working in quarantine centers on healthcare workers was less than what has been reported globally. Nurses are the most vulnerable group. It is essential that health services monitor the psychological impact on its workforce and puts appropriate mitigation strategies in place.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5339/qmj.2020.39DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7780729PMC
January 2021

Mental wellbeing of frontline healthcare workers during COVID-19 pandemic in Qatar.

Asian J Psychiatr 2021 Jan 25;55:102517. Epub 2020 Dec 25.

Mental Health Services, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar; Qatar University, College of Medicine, Doha, Qatar.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajp.2020.102517DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7834208PMC
January 2021

Mental health during COVID-19 in Qatar.

Gen Psychiatr 2020 28;33(6):e100313. Epub 2020 Oct 28.

Department of Psychiatry, Mental Health Services, Doha, Qatar.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/gpsych-2020-100313DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7594533PMC
October 2020

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the perinatal mental health of women.

J Perinat Med 2020 Nov;48(9):971-976

Department of Psychiatry, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar.

Objectives The physical health impact of the coronavirus disease infection (COVID-19) has received attention worldwide; however, data around the psychological impact of the pandemic is still emerging and little has been reported on psychological effects among vulnerable groups. This study was undertaken with the aim of studying the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions on perinatal mental health among women in Qatar. Methods A cross- sectional survey of women accessing maternity services in Qatar was carried out during the months of June and July 2020 at the local peak of the pandemic. Background data including relevant demographic details, pregnancy and mental health history, concerns, as well as helpful stress-reducing factors reported by women was collected. Depression and anxiety symptomatology was studied using the Patient Health Questionnaire Anxiety-Depression Scale (PHQ-ADS). Results The survey results revealed a high prevalence of anxiety and Depressive symptomatology (34.4 and 39.2% respectively), based on PHQ-ADS scoring. These rates appeared much higher than the reported pre-pandemic prevalence and were not affected by occupation, previous mental health problems or pregnancy complications. Women's most commonly reported concerns as well as coping factors are discussed. Conclusions Results indicate a marked increase in anxiety and depressive symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic, among pregnant and puerperal individuals, who constitute a vulnerable group with respect to mental health morbidity. These findings can be used to inform public health interventions, among which, consideration should be given to routine mental health screening of vulnerable groups during major health crises.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/jpm-2020-0415DOI Listing
November 2020