Research groups

Impact, risk and prevention of mental disorders


Coordinators of the group

  • Ai Koyanagi
  • Beatriz Olaya Guzman

Mental disorders are the group of illnesses with the greatest impact on the population's health in the most economically-developed countries, as has been stated by the World Health Organisation and in the Global Burden of Disease study. Between 20% and 30% of all people suffer a mental disorder at some point in their life. In many cases, this disorder is highly incapacitating. Our interdisciplinary group, which includes psychiatrists, psychologists, statisticians, sociologists and basic researchers, studies the factors that provide protection against or increase the risk of mental disorders, and treatments for the people who suffer them, for the purpose of improving preventive and therapeutic strategies. In recent years, aware of the importance of mental health in the achievement of a physically, mentally and socially healthy ageing process, we are devoting special attention to the study of health histories in order to determine the factors which favour active healthy ageing and at exactly which moment in time it is necessary to intervene in order to improve the course of each individual's health. We seek to translate all this knowledge into healthcare innovations which can be easily incorporated into our healthcare and social support systems.

Our group forms part of the Centre for Biomedical Network Research on Mental Health (CIBERSAM), financed by the Carlos III Health Institute and it is recognised as a consolidated research group by the Government of Catalonia (AGAUR – Agency for Administration of University and Research Grants).

Prevalence and co-morbidity of mental disorders in different age groups

Research area coordinators

  • Beatriz Olaya Guzman

This research line is focused on determining the impact (prevalence and disability) of mental illnesses in the general population and the healthcare received by the people who suffer them. Epidemiologic studies are necessary for the planning and management of resources, and to evaluate the existence and impact of factors associated with the occurrence of mental disorder. The various projects of this research line are focused on the adult, child-adolescent, and elderly populations.