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1.
Schizophr Bull Open ; 3(1): sgac038, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2107582

ABSTRACT

Italy has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, consequently producing a heavy burden on the Italian National Health Service. From February 2020 until the end of the same year, the Italian Mental Health System (MHS), comprising an extensive network of community services, was subjected to a significant decrease in standards of care followed at the beginning of 2021 by a slow return to usual levels of activity. Data reported in the present article highlight how the Italian MHS - as was the case in the majority of countries-was largely unprepared for this emergency, suggesting an impelling need to develop appropriate supplementary national plans with the aim of preventing similar situations from developing in the future. The upheaval caused by the pandemic has highlighted the need to reinforce, both at a local and national level, the organization and standards of care of the Italian MHS in order to protect and support the mental health of patients with severe mental disorders, health workers, and the general population, thus preventing a potential "pandemic" of mental disorders.

2.
Eur Neuropsychopharmacol ; 66: 30-44, 2022 Oct 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2076113

ABSTRACT

Several psychotropic drugs, including antidepressants (AD), mood stabilizers, and antipsychotics (AP) have been suggested to have favorable effects in the treatment of COVID-19. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to collect evidence from studies concerning the scientific evidence for the repurposing of psychotropic drugs in COVID-19 treatment. Two independent authors searched PubMed-MEDLINE, Scopus, PsycINFO, and ClinicalTrials.gov databases, and reviewed the reference lists of articles for eligible articles published up to 13th December 2021. All computational, preclinical and clinical (observational and/or RCTs) studies on the effect of any psychotropic drug on Sars-CoV-2 or patients with COVID-19 were considered for inclusion. We conducted random effect meta-analyses on clinical studies reporting the effect of AD or AP on COVID-19 outcomes. 29 studies were included in the synthesis: 15 clinical, 9 preclinical, and 5 computational studies. 9 clinical studies could be included in the quantitative analyses. AD did not increase the risk of severe COVID-19 (RR= 1.71; CI 0.65-4.51) or mortality (RR=0.94; CI 0.81-1.09). Fluvoxamine was associated with a reduced risk of mortality for COVID-19 (OR=0.15; CI 0.02-0.95). AP increased the risk of severe COVID-19 (RR=3.66; CI 2.76-4.85) and mortality (OR=1.53; CI 1.15-2.03). Fluvoxamine might be a possible candidate for psychotropic drug repurposing in COVID-19 due to its anti-inflammatory and antiviral potential, while evidence on other AD is still controversial. Although AP are associated with worse COVID-19 outcomes, their use should be evaluated case to case and ongoing treatment with antipsychotics should be not discontinued in psychiatric patients.

3.
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)

4.
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.

5.
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
6.
BMC Psychiatry ; 20(1): 593, 2020 12 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-979559

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: To date, very few nationwide studies addressing the way in which mental health services are addressing the current pandemics have been published. The present paper reports data obtained from a survey relating to the Italian mental health system conducted during the first phase of the Covid-19 epidemic. METHODS: Two online questionnaires regarding Community Mental Health Centres (CMHC) and General Hospital Psychiatric Wards (GHPW), respectively, were sent to the Heads of all Italian Mental Health Departments (MHDs). Statistical analysis was carried out by means of Chi Square test with Yates correction or the Fisher Exact test, as needed. RESULTS: Seventy-one (52.9%) of the 134 MHDs and 107 (32.6%) of the 318 GHPWs returned completed questionnaires. Less than 20% of CMHCs were closed and approx. 25% had introduced restricted access hours. A substantial change in the standard mode of operation in CMHCs was reported with only urgent psychiatric interventions, compulsory treatments and consultations for imprisoned people continuing unchanged. All other activities had been reduced to some extent. Remote contacts with users had been set up in about 75% of cases. Cases of COVID positivity were reported for both staff members (approx. 50% of CHMCs) and service users (52% of CHMCs). 20% of CMHCs reported cases of increased aggressiveness or violence among community patients, although only 8.6% relating to severe cases. Significant problems emerged with regard to the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff members. A reduced number of GHPWs (- 12%), beds (approx.-30%) and admissions were registered (87% of GHPWs). An increase in compulsory admissions and the rate of violence towards self or others among inpatients was reported by 8% of GHPWs. Patient swabs were carried out in 50% of GHPWs. 60% of GHPWs registered the admission to general COVID-19 Units of symptomatic COVID+ non-severe psychiatric patients whilst COVID+ severe psychiatric patients who were non-collaborative were admitted to specifically set up "COVID-19" GHPWs or to isolated areas of the wards purposely adapted for the scope. CONCLUSIONS: The pandemic has led to a drastic reduction in levels of care, which may produce a severe impact on the mental health of the population in relation to the consequences of the expected economic crisis and of the second ongoing wave of the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Psychiatry , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Mental Health , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
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