Lilijana Šprah, PhD

Head of the Sociomedical Institute, Senior Research Fellow

+386 1 470 64 39

Psychologist, PhD in Medical Sciences

Research fields

- developing of tools for better mental health literacy and eimplementation of  psychoeducational protocols

- neuropsychological indicators of cognitive and emotional dysfunctions in persons with mood disorders; mental health literacy

- functional remediation in mood disorders and implementation of support programs (psychoeducation, cognitive remediation); domestic violence (support programs)

- recognition and management of occupational stress and its negative outcomes  (absenteeism, presenteeism, burnout,  turnover); health and well-being in the workplace

- development of screening tools for psychological, neuropsychological and clinical features of persons with mental health problems and development of risk assessment tools for consequences of occupational stress and its related phenomena

- development of the methodology for evaluation of accessibility, availability and use of mental health and long term care services.

Research projects:

As project leader:

2000-2022: Literacy about mood disorders and personality disorders

2000: Strategy and methodology for evaluating the implementation of the Resolution on the National Mental Health Program 2018 - 2028

2015-2016: Assessment of psychosocial risks in the health, social, and selected public-sector activities: e-tool for comprehensive workplace health promotion of employees 

2015-2016: Recognizing and treating victims of domestic violence in health care settings: guidelines and training for health professionals

2013-2014: Care for the Health of Employees over Focused Management of Psychosocial Loads

2011-2012: Health promotion programme during the period 2011-2012: Life with mood disorder: educational programme for copying with bipolar and depressive mood disorder

2011: Risk assessment of mental health risks in residents of Republic of Slovenia within different statistical regions with adapted methodology of OECD's Index of better life

2002–2005: Neuropsychological factors of suicidal behaviour in persons with alcohol dependence

2001-2004: Fertility and suicide behaviour: multidisciplinary views

As a member of the project team

2020-2023: Changes in Agriculture through the Farmers’ Eyes and Bodies

2020-2022: Response of farming families to the consequences of accidents at work and occupational diseases

2014-2017: Psychological and reproductive disturbances in men exposed to prenatal stress

2014-2017: Comparative effectiveness research on psychiatric hospitalisation by record linkage of large administrative data sets

2013-2016: Joint Action "Mental health and well-being"

2013-2014: With Knowledge to Healthy Employees

2013: Collective Memory and Cultural Dynamics

2012: Language, memory and politics of representation

2010 – 2012: Employee and employers assistance program for reducing work related stress and its harmful effects

2009–2011: Intergenerational solidarity in farm families

2008–2011: Electronic standard coding and mapping of services for long-term care (eDESDE-LTC)

2007–2009: Evaluation of a psychoeducation and pharmacotherapeutic effects in patients with bipolar mood disorder

2006 – 2008:  Development of the quality and availability of preventive health services on mental health at the primary level

2006–2008: Relationships between generations and genders in Slovenian rural  environment

2004–2007: Social background of low fertility among university-educated in Slovenia

2003–2005: Auto- and hetero-aggressive behaviour in the family

2003: Domestic violence against women or how to achieve a zero tolerance?


The Expert Council of the National Program for Mental Health 2018-2028

National Expert Group of the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI) in the field of future work  -

WADD - World Association of Dual Disorders

Member of the Slovenian Neuroscience Association (SiNAPSA)

Society for the Study of Addiction

Pedagogic work:

2003 – 2008: Assistant Professor (Psychology in Nursing Care; Communication in Nursing Care), College of Nursing Studies Izola, University of Primorska

2000 – 2002: Lecturer in Psychology Courses, Grammar School Bežigrad Ljubljana;


CRESSWELL-SMITH, Johanna, DONISI, Valeria, RABBI, Laura, SFETCU, Raluca, ŠPRAH, Lilijana, STRASSMAYR, Christa, WAHLBECK, Kristian, ÅDNANES, Marian. "If we would change things outside we wouldn't even need to go in ---" : supporting recovery via community-based actions : a focus group study on psychiatric rehospitalization. Health expectations. 2020, 11 str. ISSN 1369-6513., DOI: 10.1111/hex.13125.

KATSCHNIG, Heinz, STRAßMAYR, Christa, ENDEL, Florian, BERGER, Michael, ZAUNER, Günther, KALSETH, Jorid, SFETCU, Raluca, WAHLBECK, Kristian, TEDESCHI, Federico, ŠPRAH, Lilijana. Using national electronic health care registries for comparing the risk of psychiatric re-hospitalisation in six European countries: opportunities and limitations. Health policy 2019; 123 (11): 1028-1035. , doi: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2019.07.006.

ÅDNANES, Marian, CRESSWELL-SMITH, J., MELBY, L., WESTERLUND, H., ŠPRAH, Lilijana, SFETCU, Raluca, STRAßMAYR, Christa, DONISI, Valeria. Discharge planning, self-management, and community support : strategies to avoid psychiatric rehospitalisation from a service user perspective. Patient education and counseling 2019; 22. , doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2019.12.002.

ŠPRAH Lilijana, DERNOVŠEK Mojca Zvezdana, WAHLBECK Kristian, HAARAMO Peija. Psychiatric readmissions and their association with physical comorbidity : a systematic literature review. BMC psychiatry, 2017 ISSN 1471-244X

ZORJAN, Saša, SMRKE, Urška, ŠPRAH, Lilijana. The role of attitudes to, and the frequency of, domestic violence encounters in the healthcare professionals handling of domestic violence cases = Vloga stališč in pogostosti srečevanja z nasiljem v družini pri ukrepanju zdravstvenega osebja. Zdravstveno varstvo : Slovenian journal of public health, 2017; Vol 56, No 3 : 166-171.

DOLENC, Barbara, DERNOVŠEK, Mojca Zvezdana, ŠPRAH, Lilijana, TAVČAR, Rok, PERUGI, Giulio, AKISKAL, Hagop S. Relationship between affective temperaments and aggression in euthymic patients with bipolar mood disorder and major depressive disorder. Journal of affective disorders, 2015; vol. 174: 13-18.

ŠPRAH, Lilijana, NOVAK, Tatjana, FRIDL, Jerneja. The wellbeing of Slovenia's population by region : comparison of indicators with an emphasis on health = Blaginja prebivalcev Slovenije po regijah : primerjava kazalnikov s poudarkom na zdravju. Acta geographica Slovenica, 2014; vol.54, No 1:  67-87.

SALVADOR-CARULLA, Luis, ŠPRAH, Lilijana, et al. Evaluation of an integrated system for classification, assessment and comparison of services for long-term care in Europe : the eDESDE-LTC study. BMC Health Services Research,  2013; 13:218.

DOLENC, Barbara, ŠPRAH, Lilijana, DERNOVŠEK, Mojca Zvezdana, AKISKAL, Kareen, AKISKAL, Hagop S. Psychometric properties of the Slovenian version of temperament evaluation of Memphis, Pisa, Paris, and San Diego - Autoquestionnaire (TEMPS-A): Temperament profiles in Slovenian university students. Journal of Affective Disorders, 2013, vol. 144, iss. 3: 253-262.

ŠPRAH, Lilijana. Functional remediation in persons with mood disorders (Funkcionalna remediacija oseb z motnjami razpoloženja). Soc. delo, 2012, letn. 51, št. 1/3, str. 143-152.

NOVAK, Tatjana, ŠPRAH, Lilijana, FRIDL, Jerneja. Assessment of well-being indicators at the regional level in Slovenia (Ocena kazalnikov blagostanja na ravni statističnih regij v Sloveniji). V: MULEJ, Matjaž (ur.), HRAST, Anita (ur.), KOJC, Sabina (ur.), POTOČNIK, Amna (ur.). 1st Chance4change International Conference Overcoming and Preventing Stress in the Individual & Quality of Life/Well-being in Urban Areas, Maribor, Slovenia, September 2012. Overcoming and preventing stress in the individual & quality of life, well-being in urban areas : conference proceedings, (Zbirka Družbena odgovornost). Maribor: Inštitut za razvoj družbene odgovornosti (IRDO): Mariborska razvojna agencija (MRA), 2012, 2012, str. 1-7, zvd.

SALVADOR-CARULLA, Luis, ROMERO, Cristina, WEBER, Germain, DIMITROV, Hristo, ŠPRAH, Lilijana, VENNER, Britt, MCDAID, David. Classification, assessment and comparison of LCT services: Development of an integrated system. Eurohealth (Lond.), 2011, vol. 17, no. 2/3, str. 27-29, ilustr.

SALVADOR-CARULLA, Luis, DIMITROV, Hristo, WEBER, Germain, MCDAID, David, VENNER, Britt, ŠPRAH, Lilijana, ROMERO, Cristina, RUIZ, Mencía, TIBALDI, Giuseppe, JOHNSON, Sonia. DESDE-LTC: Evaluation and classification of services for long term care in Europe. Barcelona: [s. n.], 2011. 163 str., ilustr.

NOVAK, Tatjana, ŠPRAH, Lilijana. Assessment of emotional processing biases in cognitive control performance. Stud. psychol., 2011, vol. 53, no. 1, str. 137-150, graf. prikazi.

NOVAK, Tatjana, ŠPRAH, Lilijana. The psychoeducational impact on cognitive inhibition among euthymic bipolar patients. Review of Psychology, 2010, vol. 17, no. 2, str. 105-109.

ŠPRAH, Lilijana, NOVAK, Tatjana. Neurocognitive assessment of alcohol inpatients during recovery from alcoholims = Nevrokognitivna ocena abstinentov med njihovim okrevanjem od odvisnosti od alkohola. Zdrav Vestn (Tisk. izd.). [Tiskana izd.], 2008, letn. 77, suppl. II, str. II-75-II-84.

DERNOVŠEK, Mojca Zvezdana, ŠPRAH, Lilijana. Assessment of mental health services in Slovenia with the European service mapping schedule. Psychiatria Danub., 2008, vol. 20, no. 3, str. 439-442.

ŠPRAH, Lilijana. Survey of domestic violence among young adolescents in Slovenia. Psychiatria Danub., 2008, vol. 20, no. 2, str. 208-216.

Course of education

2000- Doctor’s Degree: University of Ljubljana, Medical School;

Area/Field: University Programme for Nervous System and Sensory Organ Physiology/ "The effect of compound LEK-8829 on dopamine receptors in rats with unilateral striatal lesion "

1997- Master’s Degree: University of Ljubljana, Medical School;

Area/Field: University Programme for Nervous System and Sensory Organ Physiology / "Dopaminergic activity of ergoline derivative LEK-8829"

1987 - Bachelor’s Degree: University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Department of Psychology;

Area/Field: Programme for Clinical Psychology / "Motivation and Effectiveness of ESAP (elementary school with adjusted programme) Pupils"


2001 -  … .Researcher, Sociomedical Institute, The Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Ljubljana

2003 - 2008: Assistant Professor (Psychology in Nursing Care; Communication in Nursing Care), College of Nursing Studies Izola, University of Primorska

2000 - 2002: Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Scientific Institute of the Faculty of Arts Ljubljana

2000 - 2001: Lecturer in Psychology Courses, Grammar School Bežigrad Ljubljana

1993 – 2000: Associated Research Assistant, PhD. Student and Young Researcher, Institute of Pathophysiology, Brain Research Laboratory, Medical School, Ljubljana

Research areas
Psychology S260
Psychiatry, clinical psychology, psychosomatics B650

cognitive neuropsychology of mood disorders • neuropsychopharmacology • mental health • stress • personality traits