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What research is needed in social psychiatry?

There is no such a thing as psychiatry without a social component. If the XIXth Century has been mostly dedicated to clinical descriptions and classification, if the XXth Century has been mostly therapeutic (psychotherapies, psychopharmacology and biological psychiatry), it is highly probable that the XXIst Century will be mostly oriented towards psycho-social psychiatry and mental health. Research will be an essential part of this evolution.

There is also an urgent need of education of young promising psychiatrists, learning the complexity of interactions between the psycho-social aspect and the biological one in psychiatry, but also the necessity using of a rigorous methodology.

There are plenty of topics which need to be investigated in social psychiatry. Some of the most important are:

- Migration and mental health, especially on the seemingly higher prevalence of schizophrenia among some groups of migrants;

- Religion, spirituality and mental health; as a matter of fact, they will play an increasing role in the future in the expression of psychopathology, and in psycho-social phenomena such as violence, substance abuse...

- Women's mental health, especially peri-natal mental health and psychiatry;

- Ethics and its relative relativity from one culture to another in psychiatric daily practice.

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Correspondence to Driss Moussaoui.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Moussaoui, D. What research is needed in social psychiatry?. Ann Gen Psychiatry 9, S57 (2010).

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  • Public Health
  • Mental Health
  • Schizophrenia
  • Substance Abuse
  • Daily Practice