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1.
Frontiers in psychiatry ; 13, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1918931

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic confined most of the population to homes worldwide, and then, a lot of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) centers moved to telemedicine services to continue to assist both patients with ALS and their caregivers. This pilot, randomized, controlled study aimed to explore the potential role of psychological support interventions for family caregivers of patients with ALS through resilience-oriented sessions of group therapy during the COVID-19 pandemic. In total, 12 caregivers agreed to be remotely monitored by our center since March 2020 and underwent scales for global burden (i.e., Caregiver Burden Inventory, CBI), resilience (i.e., Connor Davidson Resilience Scale, CD-RISC), and perceived stress (i.e., Perceived Stress Scale, PSS) at two-time points (i.e., at pre-treatment assessment and after 9 months or at post-treatment assessment). They were randomized into two groups: the former group underwent resilience-oriented sessions of group therapy two times a month for 3 months, while the latter one was only remotely monitored. No significant differences were found in CBI, CD-RISC, and PSS during the 9-month observation period in the treated group compared with the control group, suggesting a trend toward stability of caregiver burden together with resilience and perceived stress scores in all the subjects monitored. The lack of differences in caregivers’ burden, resilience, and perceived stress scores by comparing the two groups monitored during 9 months could be due to the co-occurrence of the COVID-19 pandemic with the stressful events related to caring for patients with ALS that might have hindered the detection of significant benefits from short-lasting psychological support.

2.
Mult Scler Relat Disord ; 61: 103774, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1757689

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Covid-19 pandemic caused relevant psychological consequences in the general population. Since people with Multiple Sclerosis (pwMS) are usually at higher risk of psychological distress than age-matched healthy controls (HC), a meta-analytic study was conducted, aimed at evaluating i) differences between pwMS and HC in the psychological variables during the pandemic, ii) differences in the levels of anxiety, depression, stress, sleep disturbances and quality of life before and during the Covid-19 pandemic in pwMS. METHODS: The literature search on three electronic databases yielded 196 studies (113 after the duplicates removal). Seven studies compared psychological variables between pwMS and HC during the pandemic, while seven studies evaluated the pre- vs during the pandemic differences in pwMS. The following outcomes were selected: depression, anxiety, physical QoL, mental QoL, stress, sleep quality/disturbances. Mean weighted effect sizes (ES) were calculated using Hedges'g, via Prometa3 software. RESULTS: During the pandemic, pwMS showed higher levels of depression (g = 0.51, p=.001), anxiety (g = 0.41, p=.032), and stress (g = 0.51, p=.016) compared to HC. The comparison on psychological outcomes before and during the pandemic in pwMS revealed no significant increase during the pandemic on levels of anxiety (g = 0.08, p=.380), depression (g = 0.02, p=.772), mental QoL (g= -0.14, p=.060), physical QoL (g = 0.00, p=.986), whereas sleep quality deteriorated during the pandemic (g = 0.52, p<.001). CONCLUSIONS: In agreement with pre-pandemic literature, pwMS showed higher levels of psychological distress than HC also during the Covid-19 pandemic. Contrariwise, longitudinal studies revealed that, in pwMS, the only psychological-associated variable that worsened significantly was the sleep quality, but this outcome was evaluated only in two studies. Future studies will have to assess/evaluate the long-term psychological consequences of the pandemic on pwMS.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Multiple Sclerosis , Sleep Wake Disorders , Anxiety/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/epidemiology , Depression/etiology , Humans , Multiple Sclerosis/complications , Multiple Sclerosis/epidemiology , Pandemics , Quality of Life , SARS-CoV-2 , Sleep Wake Disorders/epidemiology , Sleep Wake Disorders/etiology , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology
3.
Brain Sci ; 12(3)2022 Feb 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1742326

ABSTRACT

Caregivers of patients with early-onset Alzheimer's disease (EOAD) experience higher level of burden, stress, and depression, due to premature role changes and social isolation. Moreover, the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic compelled restrictions regarding social interactions and mobility in Italy from March 2020, prompting telemedicine approaches for supporting patients and their families confined at home. We reported our experience regarding the effects of psychological phone-intervention (phone-I) on EOAD caregivers during pandemic. Twenty caregivers of EOAD patients were randomly assigned to treatment (TG) or control (CG) group. TG weekly underwent a phone-I for one month. All participants were assessed for caregiver burden and needs, anxiety and depression levels, and subjective impact of traumatic events at baseline (T0), at the fifth week (T1) and after 6 months (T2) from phone-I. We observed higher vulnerability to post-traumatic stress in TG compared to CG in all timepoints (p ≤ 0.05). Decreased stress effects and caregiver burden were revealed in TG at T1 compared to T0 (p ≤ 0.05), although showing an increase of these measures at T2 in the treated caregivers. Our findings suggest that although TG showed a peculiar vulnerability to post-traumatic stress, they showed increased wellbeing immediately after phone-I. However, this benefit disappeared six months later, along with the second infection wave, probably due to "exhaustion stage" achievement in "General Adaptation Syndrome". This trend may suggest a beneficial but not solving role of a prompt phone-I on burden of caregivers of EOAD patients during the SARS-CoV-2 emergency.

4.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-307745

ABSTRACT

Background: Anxiety, depression and reduction of quality of life (QoL) are common in people with multiple sclerosis (pwMS). Fear of getting sick from COVID-19, government’s lockdown and the imposed social distancing might have an impact on psychological distress and QoL. Objectives: The aim of our study was to investigate anxiety, depression and QoL changes in pwMS during SARS-CoV-2 outbreak and lockdown in Italy. Methods: 67 pwMS with a previous (less than 6 months) neuropsychological evaluation before SARS-CoV-2 outbreak (T0) were re-evaluated at the time of the outbreak and lockdown in Italy (T1). They underwent a clinical and neurological evaluation (at T0) and completed the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI-Y1), the Beck Depression Inventory second edition (BDI-II), and Multiple Sclerosis Quality of Life-54 (MsQoL-54) at T0 and T1. Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons was applied. Results: BDI-II and STAI-Y1 scores did not change between T0 and T1, whereas the satisfaction on sexual function subscale of MsQoL-54 was significantly higher at T1 ( p<0.001 ). Conclusions: This is the first study that evaluated mood and QoL levels before and during the lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic in pwMS. No worsening of anxiety and depression levels was found. Contrariwise, some improvements were noted on QoL, the most reliable regarding the sexual satisfaction.

5.
Brain Sci ; 12(1)2021 Dec 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581016

ABSTRACT

Family caregivers of people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a severely disabling neurodegenerative disease due to the degeneration of both upper and lower motor neurons, have a very demanding role in managing their relatives, thereby often experiencing heavy care burden. Previous literature has widely highlighted that this situation reduces caregivers' quality of life and increases their psychological distress and risk of health problems, but there are relatively few studies that focus on psychological interventions for these situations. Family support is more-not less-important during crisis. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, maintaining public safety has required restricting the physical presence of families for hospitalized patients. Caregivers of ALS patients felt increased sense of loneliness and experienced greater difficulties in the access to both hospital and home assistance. In response, health systems rapidly adapted family-centric procedures and tools to circumvent restrictions on physical presence. In this regard, internet-based and telehealth solutions have been adopted to facilitate the routine, predictable, and structured communication, crucial to family-centered care. This narrative review aims at addressing more current matters on support needs and interventions for improving wellbeing of caregivers of ALS patients. In particular, we aimed at highlighting several gaps related to the complex needs of caregivers of ALS patients, to the interventions carried out in order to respond to these needs, and to the changes that COVID-19 pandemic caused from 2020 to nowadays in clinical managing of ALS patients. Finally, we report ongoing experiences of psychological support for family caregivers of ALS patients through telehealth solutions, which have been reinforced in case of needing of physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

7.
J Neurol ; 268(3): 743-750, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-680349

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Anxiety, depression and reduction of quality of life (QoL) are common in people with multiple sclerosis (pwMS). Fear of getting sick from COVID-19, government's lockdown and the imposed social distancing might have had an impact on psychological distress and QoL. OBJECTIVES: The aim of our study was to investigate anxiety, depression and QoL changes in pwMS during SARS-CoV-2 outbreak and lockdown in Italy. METHODS: 67 pwMS with a previous (less than 6 months) neuropsychological evaluation before SARS-CoV-2 outbreak (T0) were re-evaluated at the time of the outbreak and lockdown in Italy (T1). They underwent a clinical and neurological evaluation and completed the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI-Y1), the Beck Depression Inventory second edition (BDI-II), and Multiple Sclerosis Quality of Life-54 (MsQoL-54) at T0 and T1. Benjamini-Hochberg procedure was applied to control the false discovery rate. RESULTS: BDI-II and STAI-Y1 scores did not change between T0 and T1. At T1, MsQoL-54 scores were higher on the satisfaction with sexual life and the social function subscales, and lower on the limitation due to emotional problems subscale. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study that evaluated mood and QoL levels before and during the lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic in pwMS. No worsening of anxiety and depression levels was found. Contrariwise some improvements were noted on QoL, the most reliable regarding the sexual satisfaction and the social function.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Multiple Sclerosis/psychology , Pandemics , Resilience, Psychological , Adult , Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety/psychology , Depression/epidemiology , Depression/psychology , Female , Humans , Italy , Male , Middle Aged , Personal Satisfaction , Psychiatric Status Rating Scales , Quality of Life , Quarantine/psychology , Sexuality , Social Behavior
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