A scoping review of studies examining mental health literacy among Arabs worldwide

Fareeda Abo-Rass, Ora Nakash, Sarah Abu-Kaf

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: There is growing interest in Mental health literacy (MHL) worldwide, given its important role in overcoming barriers to service use and reducing mental health disparities. However, little is known about MHL among Arabs. Aim: We conducted a scoping review to examine MHL levels and correlates among Arabs in both Arab and non-Arab countries, based on Jorm's MHL framework. Methods: We conducted a scoping review based on the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines, using six electronic databases: PubMed, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Soc Index, Web of Science, and Scopus. Data were summarized and synthesized. Results: Nine studies examining MHL among Arabs met our inclusion criteria. Seven of them used a quantitative cross-sectional design. Four studies were conducted in Arab, and five were in non-Arab countries. Five studies were conducted among university students. The studies included indicate moderate to high levels of MHL. Higher MHL was associated with female gender, personal experience of mental health illness, and with help-seeking behaviours. Conclusions: Our review shows a significant lack of empirical studies on Arabs' MHL. These findings should be considered as a call for action for public health researchers, mental health workers, and policymakers to prioritize research in this field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1245-1256
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2023


  • Arab
  • mental health literacy
  • scoping review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatric Mental Health


Dive into the research topics of 'A scoping review of studies examining mental health literacy among Arabs worldwide'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this