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Department Profile


Institution: DEPARTMENT OF CHILD PSYCHIATRY, FACULTY OF MEDICINE, NATIONAL AND KAPODISTRIAN UNIVERSITY OF ATHENS, “AGHIA SOPHIA” CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL
Address: Thivon & Mikras Asias, 11527 Athens, Greece, Tel./Fax: +302132013298, e-mail:  childpsychiatry@med.uoa.gr


Chairman: DIMITRIOS C. ANAGNOSTOPOULOS, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Athens.

The Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Athens University Medical School at the “Aghia Sophia” Children’ s Hospital is one of the four sectors which make up this General Regional Children’ s Hospital. It was founded in 1979 by Professor John Tsiantis, MD, DPM, FRCPsych. The activities of the Department include clinical work (assessment, diagnosis, support, counselling, psychotherapy), training and research.

The goals of the Department are: i) To provide assessment and therapy to children and adolescents up to the age of 18 as well as to provide support, counselling and therapy to their families, ii) To train medical students, child psychiatrists and other mental health professionals, iii) To provide prevention and promotion mental health activities within the community, and iv) To carry out research and participate in national and international studies in the field of Child and Adolescent Mental Health.

The Department consists of 8 main units: 1) The Child Guidance Unit , 2) The Liaison-Consultation Psychiatry Unit A , 3) The Liaison-Consultation Psychiatry and Chronic Diseases Unit B ,  4) The In-Patient Care Unit, 5) The Community Mental Health and Prevention Programme, 6) The Adolescent Centre for Training and Psychological  Support, 7) The Pervasive Developmental Disorders Unit, and 8) The Psychotherapy Unit.

The Department has a long tradition of participating in multicentre studies funded by EU and national funded by the Athens University (see below).

Participation in EU multicentre studies

  • "Provision of Primary Health Care for the Promotion of Children's Early Psychosocial Development", Biomed and Health Research programme (1990-94) D.G. XII,E/4, CT 941161.
  • Biomed and Health Research programme (1990-94) D.G. XII, PL 961517, "Coping with Physical Illness with a Particular Focus on Blood Dyscrasias"
  • Biomed II research programme, PL 963760, “Standardizing Criteria for Mental Health Assessment in Adults with Mental Retardation: an European Perspective” (1998-2001)
  • Programme SOC 96200749, “Adolescents against cancer: a smoking prevention programme”
  • Leonardo Da Vinci funded programme: “Training of Primary Health Care Professionals in Mental Health” (Contract Number: EL/98/1/68123/PI/I1.1.b/FPC)
  • Biomed and Health Research Programme, D.G.XII,E/4, 963231, “Psychotherapy for Childhood Depression” (1998-2001)
  • WHO ATLAS “Country Resources in Intellectual Disabilities”, The Montreal WHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Mental Health at the Douglas University Institute in Mental Health, the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse of the WHO-Geneva and the Lisette-Dupras and the West Montreal Readaptation Centres for Persons with Intellectual Disability
  • “Mental Health Prevention in a Target Group at Risk: Children of Somatically Ill Parents (COSIP)-Implementation and Evaluation of Innovative Health Services in a European Public Health Perspective” (QLGT-2001-02378, 2002-2005)
  • KIDSCREEN “Screening for and Promotion of Health-Related Quality of Life in Children and Adolescents – A European Public Health Perspective” (2001-2003)
  • “Incorporating Cooperation Research across Europe (INCORE). Coordinator: Professor David Skuse, University College London (UCL).
  • “Ethical Dilemmas due to Prenatal and Genetic Diagnostics Interdisciplinary Assessment of Effects of Prenatal and Genetic Diagnostics on Couples in Different European Cultures” (EDIG), “Structuring the European Research Area”. Coordinator: Prof Dr M Leuzinger-Bohleber, Sigmund-Freud-Institute and University of Kassel, Frankfurt. (016717 SAS6, 2005-2008)
  • “Child and Adolescent Mental Health in Enlarged European Union: development of effective policies and practices” (CAMHEE). Coordinator: prof. Dainius Puras, Vilnius, Lithuania.

Selected publications related to multicentre studies

Tsiantis, J. (1991), "An interdisciplinary approach for management of the impact of seropositivity on haemophiliac children, their families and the care team. An integrating approach”. In Haemophilia and Von Willebrand's disease in the 1990s. A new decade of hopes and challenges. pp. 421-428. Eds. Lusher, J.M. and Kessler, C.M. Excerpta Medica International Congress. Series 943, Elsevier Science Publishers, Amsterdam.

Caldwell, B., Tsiantis, J., Jegede, O., Banaag, C. (1991) “Quality Assurance using the WHO Child Care Facility Schedule”. In National Perspectives on Quality Assurance in Mental Health Care: Division of Mental Health pp. 79-89. WHO Geneva.

Tsiantis, J., Anastasopoulos, D., Meyer, M., Panitz, D., Ladis, V., Platokouki H., Aroni, S., Kattamis, C. (1994). “A multilevel intervention approach for care of HIV-positive haemophiliac and thalassaemic patients and their families”.  The Family and HIV pp. 248-263. Eds. Bor R. and Elford J. Cassell.

Tsiantis, J. (1995), "Child care in the Developing Countries”. Health Care of Women  and Children pp. 438-446. Eds. A. Wallace, G. Kanti. Third Party Publishing Co., Oakland

Tsiantis, J., Dragonas, Th., Cox, A. (1998), “Parent's Problems” Preventing Mental Illness. pp. 395-404. Eds. R. Jenkins and T. Bedirhan Ustun. Mental Health Promotion in Primary Care. Wiley Chichester.

Kolaitis, G., Tsiantis, J. (2004) “The Mental Health Europe Projects and the Greek Perspective” In “Promoting the Emotional Well Being of Children and Adolescents and Preventing their Mental Ill Health”, Dwivedi, K., Harper, P. (eds). Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London and Philadelphia, pp. 267-277.

Tsiantis, J., Kolvin, I., Anastasopoulos, D., Trowell, J., Tomaras, V., Miles, G., Papadopoulos, R., Almqvist, F., Soinenen, M., Bostrom, C. (2005) “Psychotherapy for Early Adolescent Depression (P.E.A.D.): A Comparison of Two Psychotherapeutic Interventions in Three European Countries” In “Psychosocial Treatments for Child and Adolescent Disorders: Empirically Based Strategies for Clinical Practice”, Hibbs, E.D., Jensen, P. (eds), American Psychological Association, Washington, DC., pp. 267-293.

Tsiantis, J., Papadopoulou, K. “Primary Prevention and Promotion of Children`s Early Psychosocial Development: The implementation of a programme through Primary Health Care Services in the general population”In: Promoting Positive Mental Health: A practical guide to planning, implementing and evaluating mental health promotion programmes. WHO Collaborating Centre, Institute of Psychiatry (2005) .

J. Tsiantis, H. Assimopoulos, D. Giannakopoulou, S. Diareme, V. Zacharias, K. Thiveos, G. Kolaitis, G. Kouri, E. Soumaki (2006). Rights of People with Intellectual Disabilities- Access to Education and Employment (Monitoring Report). Budapest, New York: Open Society Institute

Holt, G., Costello, H., Bouras, N., Diareme, S., Hillery, J., Moss, S., Rodriguez-Blazquez, C., Salvador, L., Tsiantis, J., Weber, G. & Dimitrakaki, C. (2000), “BIOMED-MEROPE Project: Service provision for adults with intellectual disability: a European comparison”, Journal of Intellectual Disability Research 44: 685-696.

Tsiantis, J., Smith, M., Dragonas, Th., Cox, A. (2000) “Early Mental Health Promotion in Children Through Primary Health Care Services: A Multi-Centre Implementation”, International Journal of Mental Health Promotion 2(3): 5-17.

International Molecular Genetic Study of Autism Consortium (IMGSAC) (2001) “Further characterization of the autism susceptibility locus AUTS1 on chromosome 7q”, Human Molecular Genetics 10(9): 973-982, Oxford University Press.

International Molecular Genetic Study of Autism Consortium (IMGSAC) (2001) “A Genome Wide screen for Autism; Strong evidence for linkage to chromosomes 2q, 7q and 16p”, The American Journal of Human Genetics 69: 570-581.

Sadowski, H., Kolvin, I., Clemente, C., Tsiantis, J., Baharaki, S., Ba, G., Lee, C., Taylor, B. (2002) “Psychopathology in children from families with blood disorders: a cross-national study”, European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 11(4): 151-161

Papadopoulou, K., Tsiantis, J., Dragonas, T., Cox, A. (2002) “Maternal Postnatal Emotional Wellbeing and Perceived Parenting Hassles: Does Community Intervention with Normal Population Make a Difference?”, International Journal of Mental Health Promotion 4(3): 13-24  

Puura, K., Davis, H., Papadopoulou, K., Tsiantis, J., Ispanovic, V., Rudic, N., Tamminen, T., Turunen, M., Dragonas, Th., Paradisiotou, A., Visakou, S., Day, C., Roberts, A., Cox, A. (2002) “The European early promotion project: a new primary health care service to promote children’s mental health”, Infant Mental Health Journal 23(6): 606-624.

Clemente, C., Tsiantis, J., Kolvin, I., Ba, G., Christogiorgos, St., Lee, C., Taylor, B., Miller, R. (2003) “Social Adjustment in Three Cultures: Data from Families Affected Chronic Blood Disorders. A Sibling Study”, Haemophilia 9(3): 317-324

Kolaitis, G., Tsiantis, J. (2003) “Promotion and Prevention in Child, Adolescent and Young People Mental Health: The Greek Experience from the Mental Health Europe Projects”. International Journal of Mental Health Promotion 5(3): 31-35.

Tsiantis, J., Diareme, S., Dimitrakaki, C., Kolaitis, G., Flios, A., Christogiorgos, S., Weber, G., Salvador, L., Hillery, J. & Costello, H. (2004) “Care Staff Awareness Training on Mental Health Needs of Adults with Learning Disabilities: Results from a Greek Sample”, Journal of Learning Disabilities 8(3): 221-234.

Levav, I., Jacobsson, L., Tsiantis, J., Kolaitis, G., Ponizovsky, A. (2004) ”Psychiatric services and training for children and adolescents in Europe: Results of a country survey”, Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry 13(6): 395-401.

Special Issue: The European Early Promotion Project (EEPP), H. Davis & J. Tsiantis (eds), International Journal of Mental Health Promotion 7(1) (2005). Chapters: Davis, H. & Tsiantis, J. (2005) “Promoting Children’s Mental Health:  the European Early Promotion Project (EEPP)”.
S. Diareme, J. Tsiantis, G. Romer, E. Tsalamanios, S. Anasontzi, E. Paliokosta and G. Kolaitis (2006). Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties in Children of Parents with Multiple Sclerosis: A Controlled Study in Greece. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 15 (6): 309-318
S. Diareme, J. Tsiantis, G. Romer, E. Tsalamanios, S. Anasontzi, E. Paliokosta and G. Kolaitis (2007). Children and adolescents of somatically ill parents: A review of the theory and intervention concepts. Families, Systems and Health 25 (1): 98-118

Trowell J., Joffe I., Campbell J., Clemente C., Almqvist F., Soininen M., Koskenranta-Aalto U., Weintraub S., Kolaitis G., Tomaras V., Anastasopoulos D., Grayson K., Barnes J., Tsiantis J. (2007). Childhood depression: a place for psychotherapy: An outcome study comparing individual psychodynamic psychotherapy and family therapy. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 16(3): 157-67.

Selected publications related to national studies

Tsiantis, J., Perakis, A., Kordoutis, P., Kolaitis, G., Zacharias, V. (1995), "The Leros PIKPA Asylum. Deinstitutionalisation and rehabilitation project", The Children of Leros PIKPA, The British Journal of Psychiatry 167: 10-45, July 1995, Suppl. 28.

Tsiantis, J., Kordoutis, P., Kolaitis, G., Perakis, A., Assimopoulos, H. (1995), "The psychosocial dynamics of change at Leros PIKPA Asylum", The Children of Leros PIKPA, The British Journal of Psychiatry 167: 46-55, July 1995, Suppl. 28.

Kordoutis, P., Kolaitis, G., Perakis, A., Papanikolopoulou, P., Tsiantis, J. (1995),  "Change in care staff's attitudes towards people with learning disabilities following intervention at the Leros PIKPA Asylum", The Children of Leros PIKPA, The British Journal of Psychiatry 167: 56-69, July 1995,  Suppl. 28.

Perakis, A., Kolaitis, G., Kordoutis, P., Kranidioti, M., Tsiantis, J. (1995), "Mortality rates among institutionalised people with learning disabilities in Greece: a 30-year suvey at the Leros PIKPA Asylum", The Children of Leros PIKPA, The British Journal of Psychiatry 167: 70-77, July 1995, Suppl. 28.

Tsiantis, J., Diareme, S. & Kolaitis, G., (2000), “The Leros Pikpa Asylum Deinstitutionalization and Rehabilitation Project: A Follow-up Study on Care and Staff Fears and Attitudes”, Journal of Learning Disabilities 4(4): 281-292.

Kolaitis, G, Tsiantis, J., Madianos, M., Kotsopoulos, S. (2003) “Psychosocial Adaptation of Immigrant Greek Children from the Former Soviet Union”, European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 12(2): 67-74

Kolaitis, G., Korpa, T., Kolvin, I., Tsiantis, J. (2003) “Schedule for affective disorders and schizophrenia for school-age children-present episode (K-SADS-P): a pilot interrater reliability study for Greek children and adolescents” (Letter to the editor), European Psychiatry 18(7): 374-375.

Kolaitis, G., Kotsopoulos, J., Tsiantis, J., Haritaki, S., Rigizou, F., Zacharaki, L., Riga, E., Augoustatou, A., Bimbou, A., Kanari, N., Liakopoulou, M., Katerelos, P. (2003)“Posttraumatic Stress Reactions among Children Following the Athens Earthquake of September 1999”, European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry  12(6): 273-280.

Berument SK, Starr E, Pickles A, Tomlins M,  Papanikolaou K, Lord C, Rutter M. (2005) Pre-Linguistic Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule: Adapted for older individuals with profound mental retardation, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 33:821-829

P. Pervanidou, G. Kolaitis, S. Charitaki, Ch. Lazaropoulou, I. Papassotiriou, P. Hindmarsh, Ch. Bakoula, J. Tsiantis and GP Chrousos. The Natural History of Neuroendocrine Changes in Pediatric Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after Motor Vehicle Accidents: Progressive Divergence of Noradrenaline and Cortisol Concentrations over Time. Biol Psychiatry 62 (10): 1095-1102

P. Pervanidou, G. Kolaitis, S. Charitaki, Ch. Bakoula, A. Margeli, Ch. Lazaropoulou, I.Papassotiriou, J. Tsiantis and   GP Chrousos. Elevated Salivary Cortisol and Serum Interleukin (IL)-6 Concentrations after Motor Vehicle Accidents may predict  Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Children and Adolescents. Psychoendocrinology 32 (8-10): 991-999

Kolaitis G (2008). Young people with intellectual disabilities and mental health needs. Curr Opin Psychiatry 21 (5): 469-473 (PubMed-in process)

Giannakopoulos G, Tzavara C, Dimitrakaki C, Kolaitis G, Rotsika V, Tountas Y (2009). The factor structure of the Strengths and \difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) in Greek adolescents. Annals of General Psychiatry, 8(1):20.

Giannakopoulos G, Kazantzi M, Dimitrakaki C, Tsiantis J, Kolaitis G, Tountas Y (2009). Screening for children's depression symptoms in Greece: the use of the Children's Depression Inventory in a nation-wide school-based sample. Eurοpean Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 18(8):485-492.