Asiri Rodrigo MBBS(Col), MRCPsych (UK), MD Psych (Col)

Asiri is a psychiatrist trained in UK, Sri Lanka and Australia. He has completed his advanced training in psychotherapies in Australia.

His main research interests include culturally sensitive mental health practise, depression and suicide, medical education and clinical training in psychiatry. 

 

Supervisors:

  • Associate Professor Harry Minas              
  • Dr. Ritz Kakuma                
  • Professor Richard Newton         
  • Dr. Piyanjali de Zoysa        


Culturally relevant cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for depression in Sri Lanka

The main aim of this study will be to produce a culturally sensitive adaptation of an existing cognitive behavioural therapy module manual that will be appropriate to the needs of Sri Lankan patients with depression. This study will be conducted in two phases.

Phase 1 of the study will be aimed at generating knowledge and collaborating with stakeholders on cultural values, beliefs and attitudes regarding psychotherapeutic treatment of depression in Sri Lanka. It will involve interviewing patients, carers, psychiatrists, psychotherapists, religious leaders and traditional healers to identify strategies relevant to CBT for depression in  Sri Lankan patients based on cultural values, norms and attitudes. The existing CBT manual will be modified with culturally specific adaptations using the information gathered.

Phase 2 of the study would be a randomised controlled trial with two parallel groups of patients - one group receiving treatment as usual and the other receiving additional modified culturally relevant CBT. The symptom scores of the two groups will be compared after a period of treatment to test the effectiveness of the modified CBT.