Psychiatric Morbidity in Recovered COVID 19 Patients

Delirium, insomnia, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder are some of the mental health problems which have been reported as common features due to COVID19. Recent concern about patients who recovered from COVID19 has protracted symptoms like chronic fatigue, myalgia, dyspnea, headache, and difficulty in concentration.

A cross-sectional study was carried out to assess 284 patients for psychiatric symptomatology and protracted symptoms in recently recovered COVID 19 patients. These symptoms can affect the mental health of an individual. The survey contained 3 parts and 128 questions. The first part of the survey included questions related to personal data, medical history, and additional information relevant to outbreak conditions. The second part of the survey included questions regarding the patient’s past COVID 19 history. The third part included psychometric assessment. A tool was used to assess the psychiatric status with Impact of the Events Scale-Revised (IES-R), Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale (HADS), Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), Mini Suicidality scale, and Life Event Checklist (LEC).

According to the survey, the patient completed the checklist of symptoms experienced after acute infection of COVID19. The majority of the patients were between 28-57 years of age. A higher percentage of patients with COVID19 infection continued to experience significant psychological distress, after the mean of 50 days following the diagnosis. It was reported 98 patients (34.5%) had clinically significant PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), anxiety and/or depression being the most common condition reported. 118 patients (44.3%) reported one or more protracted symptoms like fatigue, muscle aches, alteration of smell/taste, headache, difficulty in concentration, being the most common symptoms reported.

These findings indicate a significant proportion of COVID19 patients may experience psychiatric morbidity in the first few months after infection. This analysis showed that PTSD symptom severity was the sole independent predictor of the presence of protracted symptoms. In a summary, this preprint article suggests that COVID19 may be prone to psychological distress during the initial months after infection.

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