The HATlab has three related primary streams of research.
(1) How does mental health impact adverse health events (medical trauma), and what are common psychological outcomes following such events?
Understanding psychological sequelae (e.g., post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), delirium) of adverse health events such as the onset of a life threatening illness, major surgery and associated complications, admission to the intensive care unit, and COVID-19. Dr. El-Gabalawy is interested in what pre- and peri-event factors might contribute to particular outcomes. A significant proportion of her research focuses on perioperative mental health.
(2) What are feasible interventions to improve health outcomes in adverse health events?
Developing targeted interventions aimed at reducing negative psychological outcomes following adverse health events. For example, Dr. El-Gabalawy is interested in perioperative psychological interventions using medical technologies (e.g., virtual reality) aimed at improving both mental and physical health surgical outcomes.
(3) What is the impact of anxiety and trauma-related disorders on physical health and chronic pain?
Understanding the relationships between anxiety and trauma-related disorders (e.g., PTSD) and physical health conditions including chronic pain. These investigations include understanding co-occurrence, mechanisms that elucidate co-occurrence, and correlates/outcomes of co-occurring conditions (e.g., healthcare utilization).