Posted on November 05, 2016

A former nursing professor at the University of Calgary in Qatar (UCQ), Dr. Tam Donnelly, worked with Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) researchers to publish a study finding that Arab women hospitalized for acute cardiac conditions suffered a higher predisposition for mood disturbance and depression than their male counterparts. This research is able to be leveraged by health care professionals in Qatar, and the region, in screening more effectively for depression among cardiac patients, advancing patient care, and potentially saving lives.

Funded by the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), under the National Priorities Research Program (NPRP), Dr. Tam Donnelly worked alongside doctors from Hamad Medical Corporation’s Heart Hospital for over three years to complete the original research project, entitled “Exploring Depression Amongst Cardiovascular Patients Living in the State of Qatar.” The most recent paper, entitled “Mood disturbance and depression in Arab women following hospitalization from acute cardiac conditions: a cross-sectional study from Qatar,” was published in the July 2016 edition of the British Medical Journal (BMJ) Open, a world-renowned medical journal. It is the sixth paper related to the research project to be published internationally.

The study was authored by Dr. Donnelly and Dr. Tak Fung from the University of Calgary, along with Hamad Medical Corporate physician researchers Dr. Jassim Mohd Al Suwaidi, Dr. Awad Al-Qahtani, Dr. Nidal Asaad, Dr. Najlaa Abdul Qader, and Dr. Rajvir Singh. Dr. Donnelly, a professor and a former Associate Dean for Research at the University of Calgary in Qatar’s Al Rayyan campus for five years, is a sterling example of the institution’s mission of “Eyes High” – aiming for, and achieving, excellence in research that benefits Qatar’s community.

“With these findings, healthcare professionals in Qatar now have increased awareness of the presence of depression, and the danger it poses to hospitalized women with cardiac conditions,” noted Dr. Donnelly. “This research also has significant implications for nurses and doctors in the region, and globally, to provide timely screening for and treatment of depression to those in need.” Dr. Deborah White, Dean and CEO of UCQ, commented: “UCQ is proud to contribute to the future of Qatar, not only through education, but by striving to improve the health and care of its citizens via original research conducted by our faculty, such as this study. Our students benefit greatly by being able to learn from world-class nursing professionals like Dr. Donnelly as they prepare to become Qatar’s next generation of nursing leaders.”

UCQ is an internationally recognized university known for its gold-standard nursing programs, and is the sole institution of higher education offering nursing education in Qatar. UCQ has prepared hundreds of students for nursing careers since its establishment in Qatar, with over 500 students currently enrolled across various nursing programs. Since the University’s inception it has supported the healthcare industry in Qatar to fulfill Qatar National Vision 2030 and complement the National Health Strategy 2011-2016. 

For more details and information about UCQ, its undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as the application process for admissions, please visit