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Wolfson Institute of Population Health

Dr Afia Ali, Doctor (Dr); MBBS, MRCPsych, MSc, PhD


Clinical Reader in Intellectual Disability Psychiatry



I am a clinical Reader in Intellectual Disability Psychiatry at the Centre for Psychiatry and Mental Health (QMUL) and an honorary consultant psychiatrist at the East London NHS Foundation Trust. I am currently the interim lead for the Unit for Social and Community Psychiatry.

My research interests include the development and evaluation of psychosocial interventions in people with intellectual disabilities. I am the Chief Investigator for an NIHR Programme Grant for Applied Research: “Improving quality of life and behaviour that challenges in people with mild to moderate intellectual disability through person-centred solution focused communication (ICONIC).” I am also co-chief investigator for an NIHR Programme Grant on the development of a personalised intervention for people with aggression and intellectual disability (PETAL) and an NIHR Research for Patient Benefit grant on group Cognitive Stimulation Therapy for people with dementia and intellectual disability. My other research interests include the experiences of stigma by people with intellectual disability and their families and secondary data analysis examining psychiatric morbidity in people with borderline intellectual impairment.

I am also an associate editor for the Journal of Mental Health Research in Intellectual Disabilities and an editorial board member of the Journal of Intellectual Disability Research. I am one of the editors of the London Division newsletter and Intellectual Disability newsletter (Royal College of Psychiatrists).


Research Interests:

-Development and evaluation of psychosocial interventions for people with intellectual disability

-Experiences of stigma by people with intellectual disability

-Health inequalities in people with intellectual disability (prostate cancer screening)

-Psychiatric morbidity and service use in people with borderline intellectual impairment


Rudra S, McManus S, Hassiotis A, Ali A. Mental health and service use of parents with and without borderline intellectual functioning. Psychol Med. 2023; 25:1-15. doi: 10.1017/S0033291723003136.


Prior D, Win S, Hassiotis A, Hall I, Martiello MA, Ali A. Behavioural and cognitive-behavioural interventions for outwardly directed aggressive behaviour in people with intellectual disabilities. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2023; 2:CD003406. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD003406.pub5.

Lim A, Totsika V, Ali A. Analysing trends in psychiatric disorders, treatment and service use across time in adults with borderline intellectual impairment: A cross sectional study of private households. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 2022, 151:339-346. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2022.04.026.


Alexandra P, Angela H, Ali A. Loneliness in people with intellectual and developmental disorders across the lifespan: A systematic review of prevalence and interventions. J Appl Res Intellect Disabil. 2018; 31(5):643-658. doi: 10.1111/jar.12432.


Hassiotis A, Noor M, Bebbington P, Ali A, Wielan J, Qassem T. Borderline intellectual functioning and psychosis: Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey evidence. British Journal of Psychiatry, 2017;  211:50-51. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.116.190652.



Nicki Power (Clinical Doctoral Fellow); Funder: Barts Charity; group art therapy for people with mental distress and intellectual disability.

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