Anees Bahji

Anees Bahji
The University of Calgary | HBI · Department of Community Health Sciences

HBSc MD CISAM CCSAM DABPN FRCPC

About

166
Publications
15,840
Reads
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1,061
Citations
Citations since 2017
162 Research Items
1061 Citations
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Introduction
Current research interests include addictions epidemiology, concurrent disorders, and health service use. Focus on learning diverse research methods, ranging from systematic reviews and meta-analyses to randomized controlled trials.
Additional affiliations
July 2015 - June 2020
Queen's University
Position
  • Instructor
Description
  • Clinical skills instructor at Queen's University in the School of Medicine.
Education
July 2021 - June 2022
British Columbia Centre on Substance Use
Field of study
  • Addiction Medicine
July 2020 - June 2021
The University of Calgary
Field of study
  • Addiction Psychiatry
July 2015 - June 2020
Queen's University
Field of study
  • Psychiatry

Publications

Publications (166)
Article
Full-text available
Bothersome symptoms potentially related to drinking are commonly reported by people with and without HIV (PWH/PWoH). However, the relationship between bothersome symptoms and level of alcohol use is often not appreciated by patients or providers. Therefore, among persons reporting prior-year alcohol use, we assessed whether alcohol use level (AUDIT...
Article
Background: Antipsychotic medications are the mainstay of treatment for schizophrenia and are associated with a reduction in psychiatric hospitalization and overall mortality. Some evidence suggest that antipsychotic medications might have a varying effect on the improvement of comorbid substance use disorders (SUDs), with clozapine showing more f...
Article
Full-text available
Aim We undertook this systematic review to determine the efficacy and safety of cannabis-based medicine as a treatment for behavioral, psychological, and motor symptoms associated with neurocognitive disorders. Methods We conducted a PRISMA-guided systematic review to identify studies using cannabis-based medicine to treat behavioral, psychologica...
Article
We present the case of a young man with acute-onset chest and back pain to the emergency department with what was initially thought to be a myocardial infarction complicated by mixed respiratory failure. However, several days into the admission, the patient disclosed using a substance known as “kratom,” a novel psychoactive substance with mu-opioid...
Article
Full-text available
Background Public safety personnel (PSP) are exposed to potentially psychologically traumatic events (PPTE) far more often than the general public, which increases the risk for various post-traumatic stress injuries (PTSIs). While there are many evidence-based psychological interventions for PTSI, the effectiveness of each intervention for PSP rema...
Article
Background: While six U.S. states have already officially authorized cannabinoids to substitute opioids and treat opioid use disorder, the therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids remain unclear, especially when weighted against their adverse effects. Methods: We conducted a systematic review of studies examining the association between opioid withdr...
Article
Full-text available
Aims: To estimate temporal trends in cannabis consumption in the Canadian household population using national survey data and map changes in cannabis consumption postlegalization in 2018. Methods: In a 2-step meta-analysis approach, we first analyzed each survey year separately by estimating the weighted past-year prevalence (%) of self-reported ca...
Article
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is one of the most effective treatments for depression. However, significant stigma from the media and the antipsychiatry movement has biased the public toward ECT, leading to underutilization, particularly among those most in need. This report reviews some of the key historical events in the rise, fall, and resurgen...
Article
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Introduction Unlike sex, the association between gender and high-risk drinking has been relatively understudied in post-secondary students. Gender expression may influence the use of protective coping strategies and beliefs about alcohol. Objectives This study evaluated associations between gender expression, protective coping strategies, beliefs...
Article
The critical role of peer reviewers in the publishing process is examined. Examples of typical challenges are provided, including the relative lack of rewards for this important task. Particular attention is paid to the need to consider the diversity of the peer reviewers recruited and impediments to the selection beyond Areas of Competence, often...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Polypharmacy is commonly associated with adverse health outcomes. There are currently no meta-analyses of the prevalence of polypharmacy or factors associated with polypharmacy. We aimed to estimate the pooled prevalence of polypharmacy and factors associated with polypharmacy in a systematic review and meta-analysis. Methods MEDLINE,...
Article
Objective: This article reviews research on post-acute alcohol withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) management. Method: We conducted a PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Revision and Meta-Analyses)-guided scoping review of the published PAWS literature, searching six electronic databases (from their inception through December 2020) for Engli...
Article
Objective: This study aims to review the neurobiology and symptomatology of post-acute alcohol withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). Method: We conducted a PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses)-guided systematic review of articles from two databases for English-language randomized and nonrandomized studies involving P...
Article
Background: We aimed to determine medications' comparative efficacy and safety for adults with alcohol use disorders. Methods: We searched eleven electronic data sources for randomized clinical trials with at least 4 weeks of treatment reporting on alcohol consumption (total abstinence and reduced heavy drinking), dropouts, and dropouts due to a...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The association between cannabis use and HIV-1 RNA (viral load) among people with HIV (PWH) engaged in care is unclear. Methods: We used data collected from 2002 to 2018 on PWH receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) enrolled in the Veterans Aging Cohort Study. Generalized estimating equations were used to estimate associations between s...
Article
Background: Racemic ketamine and esketamine have demonstrated rapid antidepressant effects. We aimed to review the efficacy and safety of racemic and esketamine for depression. Research design and methods: We conducted a PRISMA-guided review for relevant randomized controlled trials of racemic or esketamine for unipolar or bipolar major depressi...
Article
Background and aim: There have been few head-to-head clinical trials of pharmacotherapies for alcohol withdrawal (AW). We therefore aimed to evaluate the comparative performance of pharmacotherapies for AW. Methods: Six databases were searched for randomized clinical trials through November 2021. Trials were included after a blinded review by tw...
Article
In the context of the US overdose crisis, improving access to medications for opioid use disorder is urgently needed. The Canadian model of methadone treatment, whereby clinicians can prescribe methadone for opioid use disorder in office-based settings and methadone can be dispensed through community pharmacies, offers a compelling model for adopti...
Article
Background: Psychotic disorders produce important morbidity and disability in children and adolescents. There have been few relevant treatment trials, encouraging assessment of research aimed at testing efficacy and safety of antipsychotics for juveniles. We aimed to compare the short- and long-term efficacy and safety of antipsychotics to treat p...
Article
Full-text available
Aim: Individuals with anorexia nervosa (AN) often present with substance use and substance use disorders (SUDs). However, the prevalence of substance use and SUDs in AN has not been studied in-depth, especially the differences in the prevalence of SUDs between AN types [e.g., AN-R (restrictive type) and AN-BP (binge-eating/purge type]. Therefore, t...
Article
A young adult presented to the emergency department (ED) for the fourth time in 6 months with intermittent abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. During previous visits, cannabis use history was not obtained, and after undergoing a basic medical examination and receiving supportive treatment, the patient had been discharged without a diagnosis.
Article
Full-text available
Aim: Individuals with eating disorders (EDs) may present with impulse control disorders (ICDs) and behavioural addictions (BAs), which may result in additional suffering and treatment resistance. However, the prevalence of ICDs and BAs in EDs has not been systematically examined. Therefore, this systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to assess t...
Preprint
Full-text available
INTRODUCTION: Polypharmacy is common associated with several adverse health outcomes. There are currently no systematic reviews or meta-analyses on the prevalence of polypharmacy and associated factors. We aimed to identify population-based observational studies reporting on the prevalence of polypharmacy and factors associated with polypharmacy. M...
Article
Full-text available
This cross-sectional study investigates the national prevalence of tobacco, alcohol, cannabis, and nonmedical prescription stimulant use among Canadian medical students.
Article
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Background: Individuals with severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI) have a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 than individuals without SPMI. In combination with physical distancing, hygiene protocols, and vaccines, quarantine and self-isolation are primary means of viral containment. However, individuals with SPMI may experience more difficu...
Article
The relationship between psychiatry and spirituality, particularly in organised religion, has been a controversial one. However, in recent years, the association has slowly transformed into an increasingly positive bond. Yet, one of the world’s newest independent religions—the Bahá’í Faith—is mostly unknown to many clinicians. This is particularly...
Article
Background Globally, depression impacts nearly 300 million people, and roughly half do not achieve remission with standard first-line therapies. For such individuals, augmentation strategies are often helpful at reducing the severity of depression. While there are many potential adjunctive medication choices, psychostimulants are among the more con...
Article
Background: Emerging epidemiological evidence suggests an association between cannabis use and bipolar disorder (BD). To date, the prevalence of comorbid cannabis use disorder (CUD) has not been well described, nor has the association between CUD and the clinical course of BD. Aim: To estimate the prevalence of CUD comorbidity among individuals...
Article
Despite increased awareness of the prevalence and burden of substance use disorders, there is limited access to addiction treatment services in Canada, including in psychiatric settings. While substance use disorders are highly comorbid and confer a poorer prognosis on psychiatric illnesses, psychiatric services are often ill-equipped in managing c...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Successful treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) can be challenging, and failures ("treatment-resistant depression" [TRD]) are frequent. Steps to address TRD include increasing antidepressant dose, combining antidepressants, adding adjunctive agents, or using nonpharmacological treatments. Their relative efficacy and tolerabilit...
Article
Aim Robust evidence suggests that depression, and risk for depression, are associated with the generation of stressful life events. This tendency to generate stress may be genetically determined. This systematic review aimed to identify specific molecular genetic markers associated with the generation of interpersonal stressful life events, at leas...
Article
Background: Persons who use drugs (PWUD) are facing an epidemic during the global COVID-19 pandemic. In recent months, many medical institutions have released guidance documents to inform the management of PWUD as it pertains to COVID-19. Given the flurry of increasing guidance documents, we sought to synthesize the recommendations and identify con...
Article
Opioid use disorder (OUD) disproportionately affects individuals with schizophrenia, who are less likely to receive opioid agonist therapy (OAT) and have a poorer overall prognosis. To date, there is little specific clinical guidance in managing concurrent schizophrenia and OUD. We performed a systematic review to summarize the current literature r...
Article
Objective: This study aimed to determine the efficacy and acceptability of pharmacotherapies for cannabis use disorder (CUD). Methods: We conducted a systematic review and frequentist network meta-analysis, searching five electronic databases for randomized placebo-controlled trials of individuals diagnosed with CUD receiving pharmacotherapy wit...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Current curriculum guidelines for addiction training in psychiatry need to be adapted to the competency by design framework to integrate clinical skills in addiction. Objective: We conducted a systematic review to identify curricular and educational interventions to build competency among psychiatry residents and fellows in addiction...
Article
Full-text available
Importance Cannabis withdrawal syndrome (CWS)—a diagnostic indicator of cannabis use disorder—commonly occurs on cessation of heavy and prolonged cannabis use. To date, the prevalence of CWS syndrome has not been well described, nor have the factors potentially associated with CWS. Objectives To estimate the prevalence of CWS among individuals wit...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Ketamine appears to have a therapeutic role in certain mental disorders, most notably unipolar major depressive disorder. However, the efficacy in bipolar depression is less clear. Objectives: This study aimed to assess the efficacy and tolerability of ketamine for bipolar depression. Methods: We conducted a systematic review of ex...
Article
Full-text available
Background Public safety personnel and frontline healthcare professionals are at increased risk of exposure to potentially psychologically traumatic events (PPTE) and developing posttraumatic stress injuries (PTSI, e.g., depression, anxiety) by the nature of their work. PTSI are also linked to increased absenteeism, suicidality, and performance dec...
Article
Full-text available
Importance Self-harm and suicidal behavior are associated with substantial morbidity and mortality among children and adolescents. The comparative performance of psychotherapies for suicidality is unclear because few head-to-head clinical trials have been conducted. Objective To compare the efficacy of psychotherapies for the treatment of self-har...
Article
Background Following several landmark rulings and increasing public support for physician-assisted death, in 2016, Canada became one of a handful of countries legalising medical assistance in dying (MAiD) with Bill C-14. However, the revised Bill C-7 proposes the specific exclusion of MAiD where a mental disorder is the sole underlying medical cond...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Public safety personnel (PSP) are exposed to potentially psychologically traumatic events (PPTE) far more often than the general public, which increases the risk for various posttraumatic stress injuries (PTSIs). There are many evidence-based psychological interventions for PTSI, but whether the interventions benefit PSP despite the repe...
Article
Full-text available
Public safety personnel (PSP) are routinely exposed to potentially psychologically traumatic events (PPTEs) that, in turn, can result in posttraumatic stress injuries (PTSI), including burnout and increased symptoms of depression and anxiety. However, the longitudinal impact of PPTEs on PSP coping remains unclear. Coping can be operationalized as v...
Article
Full-text available
This policy brief describes CSAM's position on the decriminalization of drugs in Canada. As well, it provides a recent synthesis of available research on the pros and cons of drug decriminalization.
Article
Background & Aims: There is a growing need to identify and treat individuals with addictive disorders with the goal of improving outcomes for some of the most prevalent and stigmatized illnesses. Recently, international scientific advances have trended towards developing dimensional approaches in our understanding of addiction and addictive disorde...
Article
Background: Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) has been used to modulate empathy, but no studies have meta-analyzed the evidence base for its efficacy. Objectives: This study aimed to determine the efficacy of tDCS at modulating empathy. Methods: We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials inv...
Chapter
Depression is the leading cause of disability in the world; however, a large proportion of individuals fail to respond to conventional antidepressant treatments. In recent years, the N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist ketamine has gained increasing popularity for its potent and rapid antidepressant effects, particularly in treatment-re...
Article
Background Ketamine appears to have a therapeutic role in certain mental disorders, most notably depression. However, the comparative performance of different formulations of ketamine is less clear. Objectives This study aimed to assess the comparative efficacy and tolerability of racemic and esketamine for the treatment of unipolar and bipolar ma...
Article
Despite common perceptions that cannabis is safe, there is mounting evidence to support an association between cannabis use and several neuropsychiatric sequelae. The recently published Canadian Psychiatric Association position statement provides a timely review of the evidence for cannabinoid products in treating various psychiatric disorders.1 Dr...
Article
Background: Several previous studies have explored patterns of emergency department (ED) utilization for alcohol-related physical conditions. However, the char- acteristics of those presenting with alcohol-induced psychiatric presentations are less clear. Aims: To describe the sociodemographic features of patients seeking ED care for alcohol-relate...
Article
Objective We investigated the comparative efficacy and tolerability of augmentation strategies for bipolar depression. Data Sources We conducted a systematic review and network meta-analysis of 8 electronic databases for double-blind, randomized controlled trials of adjunctive pharmacotherapies for acute bipolar depression. Data Extraction and Sy...
Article
The practice of modern psychiatry is rapidly evolving. Alongside being diagnosticians and consultants, psychiatrists must demonstrate competency in various interconnected domains, including the manager, health-advocate, researcher, and quality improvement leader. As a result, psychiatrists increasingly find themselves as mental health team leaders,...
Research
Many patients report the cannabis has a therapeutic effect for anxiety. However a few studies have correlated such findings. And this is a medical review metanalysis we synthesize studies looking at the therapeutic effect of cannabis for various anxiety disorders.
Article
Background Dimenhydrinate (DMH) is an antihistamine used to treat nausea and vomiting. Although widely available in pharmacies as an over the counter medication, there have been reports of potential DMH tolerance and dependence and a possible euphoric potential accompanying heavy use (>100 mg/day). Despite the potential for misuse, there is a gap i...
Article
The recently published Canadian Psychiatric Association position statement (“Psychiatry and the Opioid Crisis in Canada”) provides a background on the Canadian opioid crisis and makes recommendations for psychiatric practice relevant to opioids.1 In it, Neilson and colleagues defined an interprofessional and multidisciplinary model of care for indi...
Article
Objective The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy and acceptability of cannabinoids for the treatment of anxiety disorders. Methods For this systematic review and meta-analysis, we searched for randomized trials utilizing cannabinoids for the treatment of adults with anxiety disorders. Primary outcomes were reduction in anxiety disorder s...
Article
Background: Infective endocarditis in the setting of injection drug use (IDU-IE) can be managed medically and surgically, but the greatest risk to short-term survival are complications of continued use. Despite this, harm reduction interventions have not been widely adopted in inpatient settings for individuals with IDU-IE. Objectives: The aim o...
Article
OBJECTIVE: We investigated the comparative efficacy and tolerability of pharmacological treatment strategies for the treatment of acute bipolar depression. DATA SOURCES: A systematic review and network meta-analysis was conducted by searching eight registries for published and unpublished, double-blind, randomized controlled trials of pharmacother...
Article
Background: In 2018, nearly 4,000 Canadian lives were claimed by the opioid epidemic. To date, only a few studies have reviewed shifts in emergency department (ED) utilization for opioid-related psychiatric presentations. Aims: To describe the characteristics of patients seeking ED care for opioid-related psychiatric presentations and to identif...
Article
Background Rising psychiatric visits represent a significant and growing burden for emergency departments (EDs) across Canada. For individual psychiatric conditions, there are likely a variety of demographic and social variables that may increase risk of resource intensive hospital admission. Methods We conducted a retrospective cohort study of al...
Presentation
Full-text available
Explore how marijuana’s two main active compounds, THC and CBD, affect your brain and body, and what risk factors to watch out for. Link: https://ed.ted.com/lessons/is-marijuana-bad-for-your-brain-anees-bahji
Presentation
Full-text available
Schizophrenia was first identified more than a century ago, but we still don’t know its exact causes. It remains one of the most misunderstood and stigmatized illnesses today. So what do we actually know about its symptoms, causes, and treatments? Link: https://ed.ted.com/lessons/what-is-schizophrenia-anees-bahji
Data
This is a TED-Ed video on schizophrenia.
Article
Full-text available
Importance Cannabis withdrawal syndrome (CWS)—a diagnostic indicator of cannabis use disorder—commonly occurs on cessation of heavy and prolonged cannabis use. To date, the prevalence of CWS syndrome has not been well described, nor have the factors potentially associated with CWS. Objectives To estimate the prevalence of CWS among individuals wit...
Article
Background: In October 2018, Canada legalized recreational cannabis use. To date, only a few studies have reviewed shifts in emergency department (ED) utilization for cannabis-related psychiatric presentations. Aims: To describe the characteristics of patients seeking ED care for cannabis-related psychiatric presentations, and to identify demog...
Article
Objective We investigated the comparative efficacy and tolerability of pharmacological treatment strategies for the treatment of acute bipolar depression. Data Sources A systematic review and network meta-analysis was conducted by searching eight registries for published and unpublished, double-blind, randomized controlled trials of pharmacotherap...
Article
Objectives The aim of this study was to determine if certain clinical or sociodemographic characteristics were associated with a higher likelihood of psychiatric admission for stimulant-related emergency department (ED) visits. Methods Using administrative data collected by the Kingston Health Sciences Centre Emergency Department Information Syste...
Article
Background and aims: Opioids are among the most commonly used class of illicit drugs. We aimed to produce pooled estimates of mortality risks among people with opioid use disorder (OUD), with a focus upon all-cause mortality, and also overdose-specific causes of death. Design: Systematic review and meta-analysis of cohorts of people with OUD inv...
Article
Background: In 2016, the global number of individuals living with dementia was 43.8 million, representing a 117% increase from 1990-mainly due to increases in aging and population growth. Up to 90% of individuals with dementia experience neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS). However, the limitations of current treatments for NPS have drivent he search...
Article
Background: The aim of this study was to establish the prevalence of intimidation, harassment, and discrimination (IHD) reported by resident physicians during their training, to identify factors associated with reported IHD, and to identify adverse sequalae associated with IHD. Methods: This review followed the PRISMA guidelines. Eight electroni...
Article
Correctional Services Canada (CSC) employees include those working in institutional corrections (e.g., correctional officers in prisons), community corrections (e.g., community parole officers), and administrative corrections (e.g., employees in regional or national headquarters). Correctional workers appear at elevated risk for mental disorders, d...
Poster
Full-text available
ACNP Booster Session for Students
Article
Full-text available
Le Canada est confronté à une épidémie nationale de surdoses d’opioïdes, le nombre de décès associé étant en constante augmentation. Les expériences relatives aux opioïdes des collectivités de Kingston, du comté de Frontenac et du comté de Lennox et Addington, qui forment le pôle régional du Sud‑Est de l’Ontario et sont le siège de l’Université Que...
Article
Full-text available
Canada is facing a national opioid overdose epidemic, with deaths due to opioid overdoses continuing to rise dramatically. To that end, the opioid experiences of the Kingston, Frontenac, and Lennox and Addington communities, the regional hub for southeastern Ontario and the home of Queen's University, may provide meaningful insights. This article p...