Postgraduate Education in Psychiatry in Central Asian Countries

Countries in Central Asia have cultural specificities and conditions under which provision of mental health care differs from that in other parts of the world. Yet, until now, educational materials used in postgraduate education in those countries did not reflect these features. It has therefore been decided to develop educational materials that would be based on local experience and at the same time present ways in which psychiatry is practiced in other countries.

After meetings held to review the current situation and needs relevant to psychiatry in Kazakhstan, Kirghizstan, Tajikistan and other Central Asian countries, it was decided to give priority to the improvement of communication between psychiatrists in those countries and between them and psychiatrists elsewhere. To do this and to facilitate collaboration in postgraduate training in psychiatry a series of case histories were produced and commented upon by psychiatrists from Central Asia and from Russia (where the Central Asian psychiatrists were trained) and from several Western European countries.  This led to the production of a Casebook in which experts from Central Asian countries describe cases of mental illness as they see them. Their diagnoses and recommendations concerning treatment are then listed together with opinions of experts from Russia as well as from Western European countries.  Recommendations concerning the diagnosis and relevant criteria developed during the meetings in Bishkek were submitted to the World Psychiatric Association, to national psychiatric societies and to the governments of the participants’ countries.

The Casebook was published in Russian and English in 2008 and has been used as a teaching tool for postgraduate education in psychiatry.

Cooper JE, Sartorius N, Nixon N, Solojenkina X, editors. (2008) Images of Mental Illness in Central Asia: A casebook with commentaries (also in Russian). Kiev: Sphera; 248p (ISBN 978-966-8782-50351-0).