Research on the development of psychiatry in Latvia

12:47, 30 May, 2014
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On 5 June at 16:00, in an open meeting of the Medical Promotion Council of Rīga Stradiņš University that will take place in Pauls Stradiņš Museum for History of Medicine at 1 Antonijas Street in Rīga, Ieva Lībiete will defend her doctoral thesis “The Development of Psychiatry in Latvia from 1918 to 1940”.

The thesis provides an unprecedented insight into one of the most dynamic periods of Latvian psychiatric history which is at the same time one of the most controversial. The research reveals several aspects of the history of this field of medicine – its place in the overall health care system, academic and clinical psychiatry trends and correlations, as well as an analysis of the role of psychiatry and psychiatrists in social processes.

The research is focused on issues related to:

1) problematic issues of institutionalized psychiatric care boom;

2) foundation of national academic psychiatry school and its development trends;

3) so-called new somatic treatment methods in clinical practice;

4) the involvement of psychiatrists in the implementation of eugenics programmes.

Overall, the interwar period can be assessed as a separate period of psychiatric history in Latvia because the psychiatric school existing at that time with its scientific and clinical practices actually ceased to exist after World War II.