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Int Rev Psychiatry ; 34(7-8): 797-808, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2187164


The potentially traumatic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in subjects with pre-existing mental disorders is still unclear, especially regarding its long-term consequences. The aim of this study was to prospectively assess post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) in patients with mental disorders, during the 3rd wave of the infection (T0, March-April 2021) while strict containment measures were applied in Italy, and after 3 months (T1, June-July 2021), with reduced restrictive measures. A total sample of 527 subjects, with different DSM-5 diagnoses, was consecutively enrolled at nine Italian psychiatric outpatient services. Assessments at T0 included: the Trauma and Loss Spectrum-Self Report (TALS-SR), the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R) and the Work and Social Adjustment Scale (WSAS). These two latter were repeated at T1. Results showed that at T0, 43.6% of the sample reported symptoms of PTSD, with females (p = .004), younger subjects (p = .011), unemployed/students (p = .011), and living with their parental families (p = .017), resulting more affected. Differences in PTSD rates emerged across diagnostic groups ranging from 10% in patients with psychoses up to 59% in those with feeding and eating disorders. An improvement at T1 emerged in all diagnostic groups for the IES-R scores, while WSAS scores improved only in subjects with mood disorders. In conclusions, subjects with mental disorders presented relevant rates of PTSD and PTSS at 1-year into the pandemic. Further long-term studies are needed to follow-up the course of pandemic traumatic burden especially in patients with severe mental disorders.

COVID-19 , Feeding and Eating Disorders , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic , Female , Humans , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Italy/epidemiology
Eur Psychiatry ; 65(1): e8, 2022 01 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1622296


BACKGROUND: Bipolar disorder (BD) is recognized to be at high risk for developing negative psychopathological sequelae to potentially traumatic events. Nevertheless, scant data are still available about the effects of the COVID-19 emergency on the clinical course of BD. The present study examined prospectively the development and trajectories of post-traumatic stress, depressive, and anxiety symptoms among subjects with BD that were followed in an outpatient psychiatric clinic at the time of pandemic onset. METHODS: A cohort of 89 subjects with BD was enrolled during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and assessed at baseline (T0), 2-months (T1), and 6-months (T2) follow-up. A K-means cluster analysis was used to identify distinct trajectories of depressive, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress symptoms during the three time points. RESULTS: We identified three trajectories: the Acute reaction (13.5%); the Increasing severity (23.6%); and the Low symptoms (62.9%) groups, respectively. In the Acute reaction group a significant prevalence of female gender was reported with respect to the Low symptoms one. Subjects in the Increasing severity group reported significantly lower employment rate, and higher rate of relatives at risk for COVID-19 medical complications. Subjects in the Increasing Severity group reported higher rates of previous hospitalization and manic symptoms at baseline than those included in the Low symptoms one. CONCLUSIONS: Our results describe three distinct symptom trajectories during the COVID-19 emergency in a cohort of subjects suffering from BD, suggesting the need of a long-term follow-up for detecting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in this vulnerable population.

Bipolar Disorder , COVID-19 , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic , Anxiety/epidemiology , Bipolar Disorder/epidemiology , Depression , Female , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/epidemiology