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1.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health ; 20(2):1390, 2023.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-2200105

ABSTRACT

Accumulating evidence indicates that the COVID-19 pandemic carries risks to psychological health and represents a collective traumatic experience with consequences at the social, economic, and health levels. The primary aim of this study was to collect ongoing COVID-19 survivors' pandemic-related experiences as expressed through the use of metaphors;the secondary aim was to explore socio-demographic variables associated with the metaphor orientation as negative, positive or neutral. An observational follow-up survey was conducted and reported according to the STROBE guidelines. Patients ≥ 18 years, who were treated for COVID-19 during the first wave (March/April 2020) and who were willing to participate in a telephone interview were involved and asked to summarize their COVID-19 experience as lived up to 6 and 12 months in a metaphor. A total of 339 patients participated in the first (6 months) and second (12 months) data collection. Patients were mainly female (51.9%), with an average age of 52.9 years (confidence interval, CI 95% 51.2-54.6). At 6 months, most participants (214;63.1%) used a negative-oriented metaphor, further increasing at 12 months (266;78.5%), when they used fewer neutral-/positive-oriented metaphors (p < 0.001). At the 6-month follow-up, only three individual variables (female gender, education, and experiencing symptoms at the COVID-19 onset) were significantly different across the possible metaphor orientation;at 12 months, no individual variables were significantly associated. This study suggests increasingly negative lived experiences over time and the need for personalized healthcare pathways to face the long-term traumatic consequences of COVID-19.

2.
Soc Sci Med ; 315: 115499, 2022 Nov 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2096037

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Increases in stress, anxiety, and depression among women pregnant during the COVID-19 pandemic have been reported internationally. Yet rigorous comparison of the prevalence of maternal mental health problems across countries is lacking. Moreover, whether stress is a common predictor of maternal mental health during the pandemic across countries is unknown. METHODS: 8148 pregnant women from Germany, Israel, Italy, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States were enrolled in the International COVID-19 Pregnancy Experiences (I-COPE) Study between April 17 and May 31, 2020. Sociodemographic characteristics, pandemic-related stress, pregnancy-specific stress, anxiety, and depression were assessed with well-validated instruments. The magnitude of stress and mood disturbances was compared across countries. A path model predicting clinically significant levels of anxiety and depression from maternal characteristics and stress was tested for all study participants and then examined separately in each country with >200 participants. RESULTS: Countries differed significantly in magnitude of pandemic-related pregnancy stress and pandemic-unrelated pregnancy-specific stress, and in prevalence of clinically significant anxiety and depression levels. A well-fitting common path model for the entire sample indicated that mood and anxiety disturbances were strongly predicted by pandemic-related and pregnancy-specific stress after accounting for maternal characteristics. The model was replicated in individual countries. CONCLUSIONS: Although pregnant women in high-income Western countries experienced different levels of stress resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, stress is a strong, common predictor of anxiety and depressive symptoms in these individuals. The common model can be used to inform research and clinical interventions to protect against adverse consequences of prenatal maternal stress, anxiety, and depression for mothers and infants.

3.
Rev Psiquiatr Salud Ment ; 2022 Jun 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1895418

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Emerging evidence suggests that mental health symptoms in COVID-19 survivors are higher than expected, possibly indicating that such symptoms are more likely to develop post-infection than just persist as a residual component of the acute phase. It is thus imperative to investigate the potential development of a post-COVID mental health syndrome in the longer-term and identify its risk factors. Material and methods: A prospective study investigated mental health symptoms associated with COVID-19 and its determinants over a 12-month period following the disease onset in all consecutive adult inpatients and outpatients with COVID-19 attending a tertiary referral hospital from March to May 2020. Results: A total of 479 patients (female, 52.6%) were followed-up for 12 months after COVID-19 onset. Of them, 47.2% were still presenting with at least one symptom. While most symptoms subsided as compared to COVID-19 onset (all p < 0.001), a significant increase was observed only for symptoms of psychiatric disorders (10.2%) and lack of concentration and focus (20%; all p < 0.001). Patients presenting with symptoms related to multiple body systems 12 months after contracting COVID-19 (all p ≤ 0.034) were more likely to suffer from mental health domain-related symptoms at follow-up. Also, a higher risk of presenting with lack of concentration and focus 12 months post infection was found in those suffering of psychiatric symptoms at COVID-19 onset (p = 0.005). Conclusions: Findings of this study may have important public health implications, as they underlie the increased need for mental health support in COVID-19 survivors.


Introducción: Nuevas evidencias sugieren que los síntomas de salud mental en los supervivientes de COVID-19 son mayores de lo esperado, lo que posiblemente indica que es más probable que dichos síntomas se desarrollen después de la infección en vez de sólo persistir como componente residual de la fase aguda. Por lo tanto, es imperativo investigar el posible desarrollo de un síndrome de salud mental post-COVID a largo plazo e identificar sus factores de riesgo. Materiales y métodos: Un estudio prospectivo investigó los síntomas de salud mental asociados a la COVID-19 y sus determinantes durante un periodo de 12 meses tras el inicio de la enfermedad en todos los pacientes adultos consecutivos con COVID-19, hospitalizados y ambulatorios, que acudieron a un hospital de tercer nivel entre marzo y mayo de 2020. Resultados: Un total de 479 pacientes (mujeres, 52,6%) fueron seguidos durante 12 meses después del inicio de COVID-19. De ellos, el 47,2% seguía presentando al menos un síntoma. Mientras que la mayoría de los síntomas disminuyeron en comparación con el inicio de la COVID-19 (todos p < 0,001), se observó un aumento significativo solamente de los síntomas de los trastornos psiquiátricos (10,2%) y la falta de concentración y enfoque (20%; todos p < 0,001). Los pacientes que presentaban síntomas relacionados con múltiples sistemas del cuerpo 12 meses después de contraer la COVID-19 (todos p ≤ 0,034) tenían más probabilidades de sufrir síntomas relacionados con el dominio de la salud mental en el seguimiento. Además, se encontró un mayor riesgo de presentar falta de concentración y enfoque 12 meses después de la infección en los que sufrían síntomas psiquiátricos al inicio de COVID-19 (p = 0,005). Conclusiones: Los resultados de este estudio pueden tener importantes implicaciones para la salud pública, ya que subyacen a la mayor necesidad de apoyo a la salud mental de los supervivientes de COVID-19.

4.
Front Psychiatry ; 12: 775585, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1725450

ABSTRACT

Aims: Women face many sources of stress throughout their lives, and some periods are particularly sensitive; pregnancy is one of them. The COVID-19 pandemic is a likely source of additional stress for pregnant women. Moreover, there is evidence that pregnant women have experienced high levels of anxiety and depression symptoms during the pandemic. Our study aimed to evaluate the association of pregnancy-specific stress, pandemic-related stress, and coping strategies with anxiety, depressive and obsessive-compulsive symptomatology in Italian women during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic (December 2020-June 2021). We also investigated whether there were differences in these levels of psychopathology compared to a prior study conducted during the first pandemic wave (April-August 2020) in Italian pregnant women. Methods: We assessed 325 pregnant women receiving outpatient prenatal care, using the Revised Prenatal Distress Questionnaire (NuPDQ), Pandemic-Related Pregnancy Stress Scale (PREPS), the Revised Prenatal Coping Inventory (NuPCI), General Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7), Patient Health Questionnaire-2 (PHQ-2), and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) screening. The main analysis was conducted comparing multiple logistic regression models predicting each psychopathological outcome from specific covariates and NuPDQ, PREPS, and NuPCI scores. Results: 42.8% of the sample reported significant levels of anxiety, while 10.3% was positive on depression screening and 13.1% on OCD screening. No significant difference was found in the prevalence of high anxiety, depression, or OCD screening scores compared with the first pandemic wave. Controlling for covariates, we found that GAD-7 and PHQ-2 scores were predicted by pregnancy-specific stress; positive OCD screening was not. The model of high anxiety was improved by adding pandemic-related stress as a predictor (in particular, feeling unprepared for delivery and postpartum). Finally, coping strategies (avoidance, spiritual coping, and planning-preparation) significantly improved prediction of all three psychopathological outcomes. Conclusions: The present study suggests the importance of pregnancy-related stress, COVID-19 pandemic stress, and of coping strategies in counteracting or contributing to psychiatric symptomatology during the current pandemic.

5.
Eating and Weight Disorders ; 26(8):2443-2452, 2022.
Article in English | APA PsycInfo | ID: covidwho-1717279

ABSTRACT

Purpose: The COVID-19 pandemic restrictions had negative impact on the psychopathology of people with Eating Disorders (EDs). Factors involved in the vulnerability to stressful events have been under-investigated in this population. We aimed to assess which factors contributed to COVID-19-induced worsening in both general and specific psychopathology. Methods: Three-hundred and twelve people with a clinically defined diagnosis of an ED and undergoing a specialist ED treatment in different Italian ED services before the spreading of COVID-19 pandemic filled in an online survey. ED specific and general psychopathology changes after COVID-19 quarantine were retrospectively evaluated. Factors related to COVID-19 concerns (financial condition, fear of contagion, perceived social isolation/support, satisfaction in peer, family or sentimental relationships), illness duration and treatment-related variables (type of treatment provided, type of access to care, satisfaction with therapeutic relationships) were included as predicting factors in a structural equational model, which included latent variables consisting of general and ED psychopathology items as outcomes. Results: A perceived low quality of therapeutic relationships, fear of contagion and increased isolation were positively associated with psychopathology worsening. Reduced satisfaction with family and with friends' relationships and reduced perceived social support were associated with ED and general symptoms deterioration, respectively. No significant effect emerged for intimate relationships, illness duration, economic condition and type of treatment. Conclusions: This study provides a comprehensive evaluation of clinical variables associated with psychopathological changes during the COVID-19 lockdown period highlighting potential risk and resilience factors and, possibly, informing treatment as well as prevention strategies for EDs. Level of evidence IV: Evidence obtained from multiple time series analysis such as case studies. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved)

6.
Front Psychiatry ; 12: 789344, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581145

ABSTRACT

The negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic on people with Eating Disorders (EDs) has been documented. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether a history of traumatic experiences during childhood or adolescence was associated with a higher degree of psychopathological worsening during COVID-19 related lockdown and in the following re-opening period in this group of people. People with EDs undergoing a specialist ED treatment in different Italian services before the spreading of COVID-19 pandemic (n = 312) filled in an online survey to retrospectively evaluate ED specific and general psychopathology changes after COVID-19 quarantine. Based on the presence of self-reported traumatic experiences, the participants were split into three groups: patients with EDs and no traumatic experiences, patients with EDs and childhood traumatic experiences, patients with EDs and adolescent traumatic experiences. Both people with or without early traumatic experiences reported retrospectively a worsening of general and ED-specific psychopathology during the COVID 19-induced lockdown and in the following re-opening period. Compared to ED participants without early traumatic experiences, those with a self-reported history of early traumatic experiences reported heightened anxious and post-traumatic stress symptoms, ineffectiveness, body dissatisfaction, and purging behaviors. These differences were seen before COVID-19 related restrictions as well as during the lockdown period and after the easing of COVID-19 related restrictions. In line with the "maltreated ecophenotype" theory, these results may suggest a clinical vulnerability of maltreated people with EDs leading to a greater severity in both general and ED-specific symptomatology experienced during the exposure to the COVID-19 pandemic.

7.
Int J Psychiatry Clin Pract ; : 1-5, 2021 Sep 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1442931

ABSTRACT

Objectives: An observation of the Emergency Room (ER) admissions during the lockdown.Methods: We monitored admissions to the ER requiring psychiatric evaluation during the 2020 lockdown (March 9th-May 3rd, 2020) compared to the same period of 2019, in four sites of Northern Italy (ASST Lariana, AUSL Modena, ASU Friuli Centrale and AUSL Romagna). Number of admissions, baseline demographic and clinical variables were extracted from the clinical databases.Results: A 20.0% reduction of psychiatric referrals was observed across the sites (24.2% in ASST Lariana, 30.5% in AUSL Modena, 12.0% in ASU Friuli Centrale and 14.5% in AUSL Romagna). This reduction peaked at 41.5% in the first month of the lockdown. Being homeless as well as with a dual diagnosis (OR 1,67, CI: 1.02-2.74), while living in a residential facility and admission for a depressive episode Being homeless (OR 2.50, CI: 1.36-4.61) and having a dual diagnosis (OR 1,67, CI: 1.02-2.74) were significantly associated with an increase in ER admission, while living in a residential facility (OR 0.48, CI: 0.31-0.74), having a depressive episode (OR 0.36, CI: 0.18-0.73) and a diagnosis of anxiety disorder (OR 0.60, CI: 0.36-0.99) were significantly associated with a decrease.Conclusions: During lockdown, a decrease in psychiatric referrals was observed.

8.
J Affect Disord ; 294: 48-53, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1316510

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In the beginning of 2020, Italy was the first European country to face the COVID-19 outbreak. Restrictions imposed during the pandemic, social isolation, and the cancellation of medical appointments likely resulted in stress that may have affected pregnant women adversely. AIMS: To determine the psychometric validity of the Italian version of the Pandemic-Related Pregnancy Stress Scale (PREPS) in assessing COVID-19-related stress in pregnant women and to examine correlations between PREPS scales and symptoms of anxiety and depression. METHODS: 232 pregnant women attending the Obstetric-Gynecologic Clinic of an Academic Hospital were assessed with the PREPS, the Revised Prenatal Distress Questionnaire (NuPDQ), the General Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7), and the Patient Health Questionnaire-2 (PHQ-2). We analyzed the internal consistency and factor structure of the PREPS. Convergent validity was examined by comparison with the NuPDQ. PHQ-2 and GAD-7 were used to measure the association with depression and anxiety. RESULTS: Acceptable-to-good internal consistency was found for the three PREPS scales: Preparedness Stress (PS, α=0.760), Prenatal Infection Stress (PIS, α=0.857), and Positive Appraisal (PA, α=0.747). Correlations of the NuPDQ with both PREPS stress scale scores (PS and PIS) were statistically significant, but on multiple regression analysis only the PS scale was correlated with the NuPDQ. Prenatal infection stress predicted GAD-7 score, while Preparedness stress predicted PHQ-2 score. LIMITATIONS: The main limitations were the small sample size and the cross-sectional design of the study. CONCLUSION: The Italian PREPS exhibited good psychometric properties and associations with clinical symptoms of anxiety and depression.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Anxiety/diagnosis , Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety Disorders , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/diagnosis , Depression/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Pregnancy , Psychometrics , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
9.
Int J Womens Health ; 13: 653-662, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1310007

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: In February 2020, Italy became the first European country to face the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. The concerns of infection, financial worries, loss of freedom, and isolation during the ongoing pandemic can lead to negative psychological effects, including anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. The main aim of our study was to evaluate the relationship between pandemic-related stress and pregnancy-specific stress and assess their role in the development of psychiatric symptoms. We predicted that pregnancy-specific stress would mediate an association of pandemic-related stress with psychiatric symptoms. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A total of 258 pregnant women were assessed for general emotional symptoms with the General Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7), Patient Health Questionnaire-2 (PHQ-2), and an Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder screening (OCD). The Revised Prenatal Distress Questionnaire (NuPDQ) and the Pandemic-Related Pregnancy Stress Scale (PREPS) were administered as measures of pregnancy-specific stress (PSS and pandemic-related, respectively). Mediation effects by NuPDQ for PREPS stress scales on psychiatric outcomes were calculated, using regression series and correcting for general covariates. RESULTS: Almost a third of the sample reported clinically relevant anxiety levels (32.6%), 11.2% were positive for OCD screening and less than 5% were positive for depression screening. The stress related to feeling unprepared for delivery and postpartum (PREPS-PS) predicted PHQ-2 score, both directly and indirectly via PSS, and it predicted GAD-7 score only indirectly. The stress related to fear of infection (PREPS-PIS) was directly associated to GAD-7 score and - through PSS - to PHQ-2 score and OCD. CONCLUSION: The pandemic onset contributed to poor mental health, especially anxiety, in a substantial portion of Italian pregnant women. Our results emphasize the importance of strategies to reduce pregnancy-specific stress, as well as to diminish stress due to the pandemic. Identifying risk factors for psychological suffering is important to prevent potential long-term consequences for mothers and their offspring.

10.
Front Psychiatry ; 12: 697058, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1295709

ABSTRACT

Aims: The aim was to analyse the psychiatric consultations in nine Italian hospital emergency departments, by comparing the lockdown and post-lockdown periods of 2020 with the equivalent periods of 2019. Methods: Characteristics of psychiatric consultations, patients, and drug prescriptions were analyzed. Joinpoint models were used to identify changes in the weekly trend of consultations. Results: A 37.5% decrease in the number of consultations was seen during the lockdown period and 17.9% after the lockdown. The number of individual patients seen decreased by 34.9% during the lockdown and 11.2% after the lockdown. A significant change in the number of consultations from week 11 to week 18 occurred, followed by a gradual increase. There was a higher percentage of patients with previous psychiatric hospitalizations during the lockdown period (61.1 vs. 56.3%) and a lower percentage after the lockdown (59.7 vs. 64.7%). During the lockdown there was a large increase in psychiatric consultations for substance use disorders, whereas more consultations for manic episodes occurred after the lockdown. A 3.4% decrease was observed in consultations for suicidal ideation and planning during the lockdown, followed by an upward rebound after the lockdown, along with an increase in consultations for suicide attempts. During lockdown antipsychotic and benzodiazepine prescriptions increased by 5.2 and 4.1%, respectively. After the lockdown, the number of compulsory hospitalizations was higher than in 2019. Conclusions: We observed a decrease of psychiatric consultations during and after the lockdown. There was an increase in consultations for manic episodes and suicidality after the lockdown. The focus of psychiatric services must remain high particularly in this latter period.

11.
J Affect Disord ; 285: 77-83, 2021 04 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1087022

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We assessed the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on specific Eating Disorder (ED) and general psychopathology in people with an ED diagnosis during the lockdown period and after the end of the related containment measures. METHODS: People with clinically defined diagnosis and undergoing treatment for an ED completed an online survey, which included adapted questions from standardized psychometric scales. Data relative to three different time periods (before, during and after the end of lockdown) were collected. Psychopathological changes over these periods were investigated and compared through one-way analysis of variance or covariance with repeated measures. RESULTS: Three hundred twelve people completed the survey (57.4% diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa (AN) or atypical AN, 20.2% with Bulimia Nervosa, 15.4% with Binge Eating Disorder, 7.05% with Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorders). The severity of both specific and general psychopathology increased during the lockdown and the rise of general symptoms persisted in the following re-opening phase, except for suicide ideation. Almost all of these findings were not affected by ED diagnosis, participants' age and illness duration. LIMITATIONS: The retrospective nature of data collection is the main limitation of the study. CONCLUSIONS: People with EDs showed a COVID-19 emergency-induced worsening of both general and specific psychopathology. The effect on general psychopathology persisted in the re-opening period. These findings suggest a high stress vulnerability of ED individuals with important effects on internalizing symptoms, which are worth of attention by clinicians.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Feeding and Eating Disorders , Communicable Disease Control , Feeding and Eating Disorders/epidemiology , Humans , Psychopathology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
12.
Health Policy Technol ; 10(1): 143-150, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1002583

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: to assess the changes in prevalence, incidence and hospitalisation rates during the first four months of 2020, compared to the same period of 2019, in Friuli Venezia Giulia Mental Health Departments (MHDs); to analyse the features of MHDs patients tested for Sars-Cov-2, and to monitor whether MHDs applied and adhered to regional recommendations. METHODS: Observational study using MHDs' administrative data and individual data on suspected and positive cases of Sars-Cov-2. Adherence to recommentations was assessed using 21 indicators. Changes in rates were calculated by Poisson regression analysis, while the Fisher exact test was used for assessing differences between suspected and positive cases. RESULTS: The decrease in voluntary admission rates on 100,000 inhabitants in hospital services was significantly larger from January to April 2020, compared to the same period of 2019 (P<0.001), while no other data showed a significant decrease. Among the 82 cases tested for Sars-Cov-2, five were positive, and they significantly differ from suspected cases only in that they were at home or in supported housing facilities prior to the test. The MHDs mostly complied with the indicators in the month after the publication of recommendations. CONCLUSIONS: Outpatient services continued to work normally during the emergency, while hospital services decreased their activities. A low number of positive cases was found among MHDs' users, which might be linked to a rapid reconversion of services, with an extensive use of home visits and telepsychiatry. These preliminary data should be interpreted with caution, due to the small size and the limited period of observation.

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