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Open Access Correspondence

Internet-based search of randomised trials relevant to mental health originating in the Arab world

Yahya Takriti1*, Hany G El-Sayeh2 and Clive E Adams3

Author Affiliations

1 Aire Court Community Unit, Lingwell Grove, Leeds, LS10 4BS, UK

2 Academic Unit of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences, University of Leeds, 15 Hyde Terrace, Leeds, LS2 9LT, UK

3 Cochrane Schizophrenia Group, Academic Unit of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences, University of Leeds, 15 Hyde Terrace, Leeds, LS2 9LT, UK

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BMC Psychiatry 2005, 5:30  doi:10.1186/1471-244X-5-30

Published: 26 July 2005

Abstract

Background

The internet is becoming a widely used source of accessing medical research through various on-line databases. This instant access to information is of benefit to busy clinicians and service users around the world. The population of the Arab World is comparable to that of the United States, yet it is widely believed to have a greatly contrasting output of randomised controlled trials related to mental health. This study was designed to investigate the existence of such research in the Arab World and also to investigate the availability of this research on-line.

Methods

Survey of findings from three internet-based potential sources of randomised trials originating from the Arab world and relevant to mental health care.

Results

A manual search of an Arabic online current contents service identified 3 studies, MEDLINE, EMBASE, and PsycINFO searches identified only 1 study, and a manual search of a specifically indexed, study-based mental health database, PsiTri, revealed 27 trials.

Conclusion

There genuinely seem to be few trials from the Arab world and accessing these on-line was problematic. Replication of some studies that guide psychiatric/psychological practice in the Arab world would seem prudent.