Welcome to my research page


8

hundred thousand deaths by suicide every year

24

million people suffering from schizophrenia

350

million people suffering from depression

1.2

million more mental health professionals needed

Mental Health Research

My main research interest lies in the field of Neuropsychiatry and Brain Stimulation, specifically in the area of repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS).

My research includes a published systematic review and meta-analysis, which was the first of its kind to analyse and compare ECT, the “gold standard” treatment for severe depression, with the relatively new but promising rTMS. The results showed that patients who undergo either rTMS or ECT have statistically significant reductions in their depressive symptoms. This was an important conclusion, especially when one takes into account the fact that the majority of participants who were referred for the studies were refractory to treatment with psychotropic medication. When comparing the two modalities head-on, the results confirmed ECT as the leading therapeutic modality for patients with treatment resistant depression, purely on the basis of depressive symptomatology outcome, but also suggested the strong therapeutic validity of rTMS as a treatment tool for depression in patients who are treatment resistant. Furthermore, in contrast to ECT, the non-invasive nature of this therapy, its low risk adverse effects profile, its ability to improve cognitive effects, together with its proven efficacy, make rTMS an attractive clinical tool in the management of treatment-resistant depression.

Specific Interests

  • Non Invasive Brain Stimulation
  • Therapeutic and Research uses of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy
  • Deep Brain Stimulation
  • Neuropsychiatry
  • Management of Mood Disorders including treatment-resistant Depression
  • Early Intervention in Psychosis
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy


Health Management Research

Across the world, health care costs have been increasing at rates that pose stiff challenges to employers, public health agencies and governments. Current trends point to the crucial importance of health management in the provision of sustainable healthcare.

As part of my Masters studies I carried out research in a number of areas including Healthcare Organisation & Policy, Organisational Strategy, Leadership, Health Management Finance & Accounting, Service Improvement, Healthcare Marketing and Law for Managers. In my dissertation, I chose to focus on the provision of mental healthcare in Malta and provided a strategy for service improvement.

Due to the burden of mental health problems on society, as well as secondary to the lack of healthcare planning in Malta, the need to develop policies for the Maltese Mental Health Services is pressing. My research set out to indicate the organisational models that may be implemented in the short and medium term, with a view to integrate and connect the various actors (governmental and non-governmental) involved in mental health care provision.

Specific Interests

  • Clinical Health Management
  • Quality in Healthcare
  • Service Improvement
  • Health Informatics
  • Leadership & Management
  • Health Economics