The Greek psychiatric journals: 1902-2004

In our article we attempt the listing of all psychiatric journals in Greece, categorized based on their source of publication as follows:

  1. Personal initiative of psychiatrists,
  2. Publications of associations, and
  3. Publications of the public health and academic fields.

In general, the Greek medical press provides a renewable source of information that is invaluable for the scientific community in each field; it helps register the current trends and opinions in Medicine and it contributes to the ongoing education of the medical doctors. In brief, it acts as a means of discussion and information on contemporary issues.

Despite the rather delayed appearance of psychiatric journals in Greece, as compared to other medical fields, today the psychiatric press is well developed, and it plays an important role for the Greek psychiatric community.

The Greek psychiatric journals made their first appearance in the early 20th century. Initially, the first journals came as a result of the personal initiative of distinguished scientists. The first journal entirely devoted to psychiatry and neurology was published in 1902, by S. Vlavianos, and the second after a long gap in 1931. In 1950 we have the first appearance of the journal Encephalos which continued its course, in different ways, until today.

Later on, namely in the second half of the 20th century, journals published by psychiatric associations make their appearance, and today they account for the majority of psychiatric journals in Greece. They often act as the official journal of the publisher. The first such journal appeared in 1936, but the real development of this type of journal came in the second half of the 20th century. By default, apart from the usual articles, these journals also publish the minutes of the meetings held by the associations as well as papers presented in congresses and conferences organized by them.

Lately, we have an increase in the number of psychiatric journals published following the initiative of public health institutions, such as general or psychiatric hospitals, clinics or units; these journals often present the clinical and research work carried out at the hospitals. The first such journal was published in 1983, originating from the Athens Psychiatric Hospital and many others followed into the 1980s and 1990s until today.

Most psychiatric journals aim at constituting the platform for the expression of the scientific community in the fields of Psychiatry and Neurology, as well as at providing the latest information of the international community as well as from the relevant conferences. The journals act as the means of expression of the psychiatrists, enabling fruitful discussion on contemporary issues. Initially most psychiatric journals were faced with financial problems, which often led to the discontinuation of their publication. Such problems were later solved with advertising, as well as the publication of many journals by associations that cover the expenses. The advent of desktop publishing and new printing technologies improved the appearance of the journals in the late 20th century. Two facts peculiar to the psychiatric press are, firstly, that we have a significant amount of publications originating in the city of Thessaloniki, and secondly that the contribution of the psychiatric and neurological associations was very important for the Greek psychiatric press.

Key words: History, Psychiatry, Neurology, journals, Greek Psychiatric and Neurological Associations.