Vivian Kovess-Masfety, MD, PHD

  • Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology
Profile Headshot


Viviane Kovess-Masfety, is a French and Canadian psychiatrist (child and adult) trained as psychiatrist in France plus in transcultural psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology at Mc Gill University to whom she belonged for years, consequently with a thorough background in research in epidemiology of mental health. She carried out numerous epidemiological studies for government’s agencies on adults, homeless, children and teachers. She initiated and ran Europe funded studies such as the report on mental health in the European Union , the French part of the ESEMED/ WMH initiative a Harvard/WHO world psychiatric epidemiological survey and was the principal investigator of an European grant for a seven countries primary school aged child mental health survey leading to many publications. She also acted as an independent researcher for Conseil Santé , a consulting company dedicated to the health sector and focused on international assignments, which got a EU grant for a national mental health survey in Afghanistan. She designed, conducted and published that survey and is actually involved in a new grant for a follow up study. Actually, she acts for agencies such as “Santé Publique France” , as consultant for a national child mental health survey, the French development agency (AFD) for whom she sat up a national mental health survey in Georgia (Caucase) on internally displaced persons and general population which should be completed by a mental health children survey ; she also sat up a survey on primary school children in Tianjin (China). She acts also as a consultant for the French Office for immigration on asylum seekers mental health.

She is the author of several books and scientific papers, was for years the president of the epidemiology and public health section of the World Association of Psychiatry, where she is actually a board member. 

Her main interests are social determinants of population mental state, especially children,  and mental health service research : use of care determinants and health system comparisons including on psychotropic drug consumption.

Academic Appointments

  • Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • MD, Faculté Hôtel-Dieu, Broussais, Paris
  • PhD, Université Paris VI (Pierre-et-Marie-Curie)
  • MS in Psychiatry, Université McGill, Montréal

Committees, Societies, Councils

2020 - present: Executive committee member Epidemiology Public Health section of (World Psychiatric Association – WPA)

2009 - 2017: President of Epidemiology Public Health section of (World Psychiatric Association – WPA)

2019 - present: Board member ENMESH (European Network on mental health care evaluation)

2005 - present: American Psychopathological Association member

2003 - 2008: Expert, Mental health, European Union 

2002 - 2008: General secretary of Epidemiology Public Health section of (World Psychiatric Association – WPA)

1995 - 2017: Co-editor Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, London (United Kingdom)

1991 - present: President, Quality of care in mental health Improvement association (APAQESM)

1991 - present: World Social psychiatry Association member

1985 - present: Canadian Academy of Psychiatric Epidemiology (ACEP-CAPE) member


Selected Publications

Kovess-Masfety, V., Sabawoon, A., Keyes, K., & Karam, E. (2024). Prevalence, risk factors, and comorbidities of psychotic experiences in Afghanistan: a highly stressful environment. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol, 59(1), 99-109. doi:10.1007/s00127-023-02539-4

Villani, M., & Kovess-Masfety, V. (2024). Comparing stigma between French people experiencing schizophrenia versus bipolar disorders. Int J Soc Psychiatry, 207640231223428. doi:10.1177/00207640231223428

Goldin, J., Bodeau-Livinec, F., Goelitz, D., Bitfoi, A., Carta, M. G., Koç, C., . . . Kovess-Masfety, V. (2023). The association between mental health problems and asthma among European school children. European Journal of Psychiatry, 37(4). doi:10.1016/j.ejpsy.2023.100223

Kovess-Masfety, V., Rabate, L., Caby, D., & Nicaise, P. (2023). French mental health care system: Analysis of care utilisation patterns and the case for a stepped care approach. Health Policy, 138, 104945. doi:10.1016/j.healthpol.2023.104945

Villani, M. V., & Kovess-Masfety, V. (2023). Causal Beliefs About and Perceptions of Illness in Persons Experiencing Schizophrenia and in Close Relatives of Such Individuals: An Exploratory Study. J Psychiatr Pract, 29(3), 213-226. doi:10.1097/PRA.0000000000000710

Kovess-Masfety, V., Yan, G., Yin, H., Sun, L., Hou, X., Li, M., . . . Xu, G. (2023). Chinese version of Dominic Interactive - A self-report video game for assessing mental health in young children. Front Psychiatry, 14, 1149970. doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2023.1149970

Li, P., Wang, Y., Kovess-Masfety, V., Su, X., Hou, X., Li, M., . . . Xu, G. (2023). Suicidal ideation and its relationship with mental health reported by different informants among children aged 6-12. J Affect Disord, 334, 271-277. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2023.05.006

Revranche, M., Biscond, M., Navarro-Mateu, F., Kovess-Masfety, V., & Husky, M. M. (2023). The contribution of childhood adversities to the persistence of severe role impairment among college students: a follow-up study. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol, 1-11. doi:10.1007/s00127-023-02434-y

Kovess-Masfety, V., Frounfelker, R. L., Keyes, K., Karam, E., Sabawoon, A., Sarwari, B. A., . . . Rousseau, C. (2023). Education as a protective factor for mental health risks among youth living in highly dangerous regions in Afghanistan. Child Adolesc Psychiatry Ment Health, 17(1), 12. doi:10.1186/s13034-022-00548-w

Karam, E., & Kovess Masfety, V. (2022). We share more attributes than we think: the crucial input of epidemiology. World Psychiatry, 21(3), 475-476. doi:10.1002/wps.21012