Toni Sawma

Assistant Professor of Practice in Clinical Psychology

Dr. Toni Sawma is an assistant professor of practice, clinical psychology in the Department of Social and Education Sciences at LAU.

Dr. Sawma is the founder of the Psychology Unit at the Notre Dame des Secours Centre Hospitalier Universitaire (CHU-NDS) where they promote the integration of psychosocial care, deal with the emotional and supportive aspects of cancer and focus on mainstream cancer care in Lebanon.

In addition to offering mental health services to inpatients and outpatients, he headed the Psychology Unit at CHU-NDS (2014-2021) and served as a consultant/clinician in different psychiatric units and mental health institutions in Lebanon. He has also been practicing in private clinics since 2013.

Academically, Dr. Sawma is involved in teaching and supervising master studies across various programs (clinical psychology, industrial psychology and medical education programs). He was previously an assistant professor of psychology at Effat University (Jeddah-KSA), as well as a lecturer at the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK), the Department of Business and Commercial Sciences in Le Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (Le CNAM) and the École Nationale d’Administration (ÉNA).

Dr. Sawma supervises the placement of psychology graduates in internships with different partner institutions and NGOs. He is also currently a member of the wellness committee at the Lebanese American University Medical Center (LAUMC-Rizk Hospital) where he advocates comprehensive care in healing and addressing patients.

Research Interests

Dr. Sawma’s research interests are focused on clinical and health psychology, behavioral medicine and innovative forms of therapy.

Selected Publications

  1. Sawma, T., Sanjab, Y. “The association between sense of coherence and quality of life: a cross-sectional study in a sample of patients on hemodialysis,” BMC Psychol 10, 100 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40359-022-00805-9
  2. Sawma, T., Choueiri, P. “The influence of family functioning on the severity of fear of cancer recurrence: A cross-sectional study in a sample of breast cancer survivors of Lebanese women,” European Journal of Oncology Nursing, (2022). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejon.2022.102169
  3. El Khoury-Malhame, M., Sfeir, M., Hallit, S. et al. “Factors associated with posttraumatic growth: gratitude, PTSD and distress; one year into the COVID-19 pandemic in Lebanon,” Curr. Psychol. (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-022-04159-8
  4. El Khoury-Malhame, M., Rizk, R., Joukayem, E. et al. “The psychological impact of COVID-19 in a socio-politically unstable environment: protective effects of sleep and gratitude in Lebanese adults,” BMC Psychol. 11, 14 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40359-023-01042-4
  5. Fekih-Romdhane, F., Dabbous, M., Hallit, R., Malaeb, D., Sawma, T., Obeid, S., & Hallit, S. “Development and validation of a shortened version of the Child Abuse Self Report Scale (CASRS-12) in the Arabic language,” Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health16(1), 100 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13034-022-00533-3
  6. Fekih-Romdhane, F., Yakın, E., Bitar, Z. et al. “Validation of the Arabic version of the 35-item TEMPS-M in a community sample of adults,” BMC Psychol. 11, 28 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40359-023-01064-y
  7. Yakin, E., Obeid, S., Fekih-Romdhane, F., Soufia, M., Sawma, T., Samaha, S., Mhanna, M., Azzi, R., Mina, A., Hallit, S. “ ‘In-between orthorexia’ profile: the co-occurrence of pathological and healthy orthorexia among male and female non-clinical adolescents,” J. Eat. Disord. 10, 155 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40337-022-00673-z
  8. Issa, R., Kharaba, Z.J., Azzi, V., Obeid, S., Sawma, T., Said, A.S.A., Al Ahmad, M.M., Alfoteih, Y., Malaeb, D., Hallit, S. “Menstrual symptoms variation among Lebanese women before and after the COVID-19 pandemic,” Pharmacy Practice, Jul-Sep; 20(3):2699 (2022).
  9. Fekih-Romdhane, F., Sawma, T., Akel, M. et al. “Work Addiction and Depression, Anxiety, and Stress: the Mediating Role of Food Addiction Among Lebanese Young Adult Workers,” Int. J. Ment. Health Addiction (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-022-00909-8
  10. Sawma, T., “A Cross-Cultural Approach to Understanding Chronicity. Lebanese Clinical Cases,” Psycho-Oncologie 13:39-41 (2019). https://doi.org/10.3166/pson-2019-0082
  11. Sakr, R., Sawma, T., “Attachment Style and Psychosocial Adjustment to Breast Cancer: What Implications for Patient–Medical Staff Communication? Empirical Study of 60 Lebanese Women with Breast Cancer,” Psycho-Oncologie 13:89-94 (2019). https://doi.org/10.3166/pson-2019-0091

Academic Degrees

  • PhD in Clinical Psychology, Holy Spirit University of Kaslik, Lebanon, 2014.   
  • Master’s in Clinical Psychology, Holy Spirit University of Kaslik, Lebanon, 2010.                   
  • BS in Psychology, Lebanese University, Lebanon, 2005.