Mental Health Needs and Interventions


Miguel Xavier

Principal Investigator



Campus Sant'Ana, NMS, UNL
Campo Mártires da Pátria, 130
1169-056 Lisboa, Portugal

Phone: (+351) 218 803 000
Fax: (+351) 218 851 920
E-mail: miguel.xavier(a)

Main interests

Psychiatric epidemiology, Mental health services planning and evaluation, Forensic psychiatry, Medical education.

Research Areas


1.1. General Objectives (Epidemiology, Health Policy and Services)- To develop epidemiological studies in relevant areas of health, such as respiratory, cardiac, infectious, rheumatologic and psychiatric disorders;- To conduct research aiming at the assessment of the effectiveness of health policies, services and interventions (e.g for depression and suicide prevention; for the prevention of the impact of air pollution on asthma)- To strengthen the participation in international research networks.
1.2. Specific objectives (Mental Health Needs and Interventions)- To assess the needs for care in several clinical contexts, namely the severe mentally ill, forensic populations and the frail elderly.- To explore the circular pathways underlying family dynamics, mental health and mental illness (as well as the impact of psychopathology on relatives, and ways to ease their burden of care).- To condute research in old age psychiatry and related epidemiology in Portuguese settings.- To conduct research in neuropsychiatric disorders related to medical conditions.


2.1. NEEDS ASSESSMENT, approached in a first phase by validation and reliability testing of well-known standardised assessments (e.g. CANFOR; CANE), followed by studies on special populations (eg. inmates).(Project: Needs For Care Assessment In Mentally Disorderd Inmates , FCT grant).
2.2. PREDICTION OF NEW EPISODES OF ANXIETY, aiming to develop a risk factor algorithm that may be used by GPs in order to identify users prone to new episodes of anxiety. It follows the methodology already used in the development of the risk factor algorithm for new episodes of depression (Project: PredictD study, EU grant).
2.3. CAREGIVING ISSUES IN DEMENTIA AND SEVERE MENTAL ILLNESS. This involves researching the caregiving experience and related variables (e.g. caregivers’ psychological distress, coping, social resources or mental health literacy).
2.4. PSYCHIATRIC EPIDEMIOLOGY IN OLD AGE - the study “Prevalence of old age neuropsychiatric disorders: contribution to mental health policy in Portugal” (FCT grant) is to start in May 2011.
2.5. FAMILY INTERVENTIONS IN GERIATRIC PSYCHIATRY AND SCHIZOPHRENIA. We aim to test family work models (such as psychoeducational groups for relatives and behavioural family therapy, according to the Falloon’s approach) in Portuguese clinical settings. The obstacles to implementation will be studied in collaboration with the National Coordination for Mental Health.
2.6. NEUROPSYCHIATRIC ASPECTS OF PRIMARY DYSTONIA, aiming to explore the psychiatric manifestations and neurocognitive profile of this primary movement disorder, with a special emphasis on obsessive-compulsive psychopathology and executive cognitive functions. (Project: OCD and primary dystonia, Novartis grant).


3.1. To publish 2 papers from the study “Needs For Care Assessment in Mentally Disordered Inmates”, starting with a validation-methodological paper. A PhD student is to present a thesis on this subject during 2011-12.
3.2. To publish 1 paper from the study "PredictD", focused on the prediction of new cases of anxiety disorders.
3.3. To start the study “Prevalence of old age neuropsychiatric disorders: contribution to mental health policy in Portugal” (FCT grant).
3.4. To publish 1 paper from the study "OCD and primary dystonia", in collaboration with the FCM-UNL Department of Neurology.A PhD student is to present a thesis on this subject during 2011-12.
3.5. To publish 1 paper from the area of familiy interventions and Psychoeducation, as well as another focused on familiy burden.


Needs For Care Assessment in Mentally Disorderd Inmates - Funded by FCT.The main objective of this study is to assess the mental health care needs of mentally disordered inmates, comparing these needs with mentally ill patients treated in the community;

Prevalence of old age neuropsychiatric disorders: contribution to mental health policy in Portugal. The main objective of this study is to assess prevalence of dementia, depression and other psychiatric disorders, in an elderly population in Lisbon and in a rural area, through implementation of part of 10/66DRG protocols, in collaboration with the Institute of Psychiatry (London, UK)

  • Navarro-Mateu F, Alonso J, Lim CCW, Saha S, Aguilar-Gaxiola S, Al-Hamzawi A, Andrade LH, Bromet EJ, Bruffaerts R, Chatterji S, Degenhardt L, de Girolamo G, de Jonge P, Fayyad J, Florescu S, Gureje O, Haro JM, Hu C, Karam EG, Kovess-Masfety V, Lee S, Medina-Mora ME, Ojagbemi A, Pennell BE, Piazza M, Posada-Villa J, Scott KM, Stagnaro JC, Xavier M, Kendler KS, Kessler RC, McGrath JJ; WHO World Mental Health Survey Collaborators.(2017) The association between psychotic experiences and disability: results from the WHO World Mental Health Surveys. Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2017 May 25. doi: 10.1111/acps.12749. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Koenen KC, Ratanatharathorn A, Ng L, McLaughlin KA, Bromet EJ, Stein DJ, Karam EG, Meron Ruscio A, Benjet C, Scott K, Atwoli L, Petukhova M, Lim CC, Aguilar-Gaxiola S, Al-Hamzawi A, Alonso J, Bunting B, Ciutan M, de Girolamo G, Degenhardt L, Gureje O, Haro JM, Huang Y, Kawakami N, Lee S, Navarro-Mateu F, Pennell BE, Piazza M, Sampson N, Ten Have M, Torres Y, C Viana M, Williams D, Xavier M, Kessler RC (2017) Posttraumatic stress disorder in the World Mental Health Surveys. Psychol Med. 2017 Apr 7:1-15. doi: 10.1017/S0033291717000708. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Wardenaar KJ, Lim CC, Al-Hamzawi AO, Alonso J, Andrade LH, Benjet C, Bunting B, de Girolamo G, Demyttenaere K, Florescu SE, Gureje O, Hisateru T, Hu C, Huang Y, Karam E, Kiejna A, Lepine JP, Navarro-Mateu F, Oakley Browne M, Piazza M, Posada-Villa J, Ten Have ML, Torres Y, Xavier M, Zarkov Z, Kessler RC, Scott KM, de Jonge P. (2017) The cross-national epidemiology of specific phobia in the World Mental Health Surveys. Psychol Med. 2017 Feb 22:1-17. doi: 10.1017/S0033291717000174. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Kovess-Masfety V, Evans-Lacko S, Williams D, Andrade LH, Benjet C5, Ten Have M, Wardenaar K, Karam EG, Bruffaerts R, Abdumalik J, Haro Abad JM, Florescu S, Wu B, De Jonge P, Altwaijri Y, Hinkov H, Kawakami N, Caldas-de-Almeida JM, Bromet E, de Girolamo G, Posada-Villa J, Al-Hamzawi A, Huang Y, Hu C, Viana MC, Fayyad J, Medina-Mora ME, Demyttenaere K, Lepine JP, Murphy S, Xavier M, Takeshima T, Gureje O. (2016) The role of religious advisors in mental health care in the World Mental Health surveys.Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2016 Nov 2. [Epub ahead of print]
  • An international risk prediction algorithm for the onset of generalized anxiety and panic syndromes in general practice attendees: the Predict A. M. King, C. Bottomley, J. A. Bellon-Saameno, F. Torres-Gonzalez, I. Svab5, J. Rifel, H.-I. Maaroos, A. Aluoja, M. I. Geerlings, M. Xavier, I. Carraça, B. Vicente, S. Saldivia and I. Nazareth. Psychological Medicine, 2011 Jan 6.:1-15.
  • Predicting the onset of major depression in primary care: international validation of a risk prediction algorithm from Spain. J Bellon, J Dios Luna, M King, B. Moreno-Kustner, I. Nazareth, M Xavier. Psychological Medicine, 2011, Oct, 41 (10):2075-88.
  • Depression, anxiety and physical function: exploring the strength of causality. B Stegenga, I Nazareth, F Torres-González, M Xavier, I Svab, M Geerlings, C Bottomley, L Marston, M King. J Epidemiol Community Health. Jun 21, 2011.
  • Heavy Episodic Drinking in Europe: A Cross Section Study in Primary Care in Six European Countries. I Nazareth, C Walker, A Ridolfi, A Aluoja, J Bellon , M Geerlings, I Svab, M Xavier and M King. Alcohol and Alcoholism, Sep-Oct; 46(5): 600-606, 2011.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Symptoms in Primary Focal Dystonia: A Controlled Study. B Correa, P Bugalho, J Guimarães, M Xavier. Movement Disorders, 2011, Oct; 26 (12): 2274-8.
  • Development and Validation of a Risk Model for Prediction of Hazardous Alcohol Consumption in General Practice Attendees: The PredictAL Study. M King, L Marston, I Švab, HI Maaroos, M Geerlings, M Xavier et al. PLoS One. 2011; 6(8):e22175.
  • Associations between unemployment and major depressive disorder: Evidence from an international, prospective study (the predict cohort). Jefferis BJ, Nazareth I, Marston L, Moreno-Kustner B, Bellón JÁ, Svab I, Rotar D, Geerlings MI, Xavier M, Goncalves-Pereira M, Vicente B, Saldivia S, Aluoja A, Kalda R, King M. Soc Sci Med. 2011 Dec;73(11):1627-34.
  • Gonçalves-Pereira M, Sampaio D. Psicoeducação familiar na demência. Da clínica à saúde pública. Revista Portuguesa de Saúde Pública, 2011; 29: 3-10.
  • Gonçalves Pereira M, Martín-Carrasco M, Sampaio S. Aspectos práticos da intervenção familiar na clínica psicogeriátrica. Mosaico (Revista de la Federación Española de Asociaciones de Terapia Familiar – com a colaboração da SPTF), 2011; 47: 14-22.
  • Gonçalves Pereira M. The art and science of assessing the family in psychogeriatrics.Abstract Supplement, Aging & Mental Health, 15: sup1, Dec 2011, p 14.
  • Alves da Silva J, Gonçalves Pereira M, Xavier M, Mukaetova-Ladinska EB. Are affective disorders risk factors for dementia? A systematic review. Abstract Supplement, Aging & Mental Health, 15: sup1, Dec 2011, p 20.
  • Janeiro C, Rocha R, Cunha R, Rodrigues S, Diogo L, Pinho M, Gonçalves Pereira M. Needs assessment in a Portuguese long term care facility. Abstracts on CD-ROM of the 39th Congress of the European Association of Geriatric Psychiatry (EAGP). Porto, 2011.
  • Carrilho da Cunha M, Gonçalves Pereira M, Neto LM. Positive aspects of informal caregiving: An exploration in a rural setting. Abstracts on CD-ROM of the 39th Congress of the European Association of Geriatric Psychiatry (EAGP). Porto, 2011.
  • Bugalho P, da Silva JA, Neto B. Clinical features associated with REM sleep behavior disorder symptoms in the early stages of parkinson's disease. J Neurol 2011, Jan;258(1):50-5.


Institute of Psychiatry (London, UK)

Team photos