American University of Beirut Lebanon
Monique Chaaya is a Professor of Epidemiology at the Faculty of Health Sciences, and coordinator of the MS in Epidemiology Program. She served for 6 years (from 2009 to 2015) as the chair of the Epidemiology and Population Health Department.
She graduated with a Doctorate of Public Health from the Department of Mental Health at Johns Hopkins School of Public Heath in 1999. Her main research interests focus on two priorities in public health, namely mental health and tobacco control. She conducted cross-sectional and longitudinal studies on mental health of vulnerable populations, specifically pregnant women (postpartum depression, stress), prisoners of war (psychiatric distress and PTSD), displaced and older adults in underprivileged communities. She validated five mental health scales such as the Arabic Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), the Arabic Perceived Stress Scale and A-RUDAS (Rowland Universal Dementia Assessment Scale). Her interest in mental health of older adults began in the year 2000 when she joined a multidisciplinary Urban Health Research Group at FHS and co-lead a comprehensive survey of disadvantaged older persons’ health including mental health. In 2011, she received an R21 NIH grant to study prevalence of dementia in Lebanon. This study was done in collaboration with international researchers from Denmark and UK an local researchers from AUBMC and Saint George Hospital. Several papers were published from the dementia study and many in preparation. Building on the NIH grant, she developed a cohort study on dementia (COLDS) funded by the Lebanese National Council for Scientific Research, which aimed to determine the incidence of dementia and other health outcome measures including mortality, hospitalization and institutionalization.