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Glob Health J ; 6(3): 174-179, 2022 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2000420


Objective: Despite recognition that coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic created an unprecedented impact on global mental health, information on the psychological health among trauma survivors during the COVID-19 pandemic is rare. We sought to examine psychological outcomes among individuals with preexisting traumatic experiences during COVID-19. Methods: We sampled 1 242 adults in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States under a state-issued Phase 1 stay-at-home mandate to examine associations between pre-pandemic trauma exposure as measured by the Brief Trauma Questionnaire (BTQ) and anxiety and depression, as measured by the Patient Reported Outcome Scale Anxiety and Depression (PROMIS-A and PROMIS-D). Results: Pre-pandemic trauma exposure among the sample was reported, with 281 (22.6%) participants identifying as experiencing one trauma, 209 (16.8%) reporting two, and 468 (37.7%) reporting three or more. As reported experiences of trauma increased, so did participant anxiety and depressive symptomatology. One-way Analysis of Variance indicated that reported trauma was significantly positively correlated with anxiety (P < 0.01) and depressive symptomatology (P < 0.01). Conclusion: Findings highlight the immense psychological toll of the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically with individuals who were previously exposed to trauma. Public health officials can encourage physicians, employers, and universities to screen patients, employees, and students to assess previous trauma, psychological functioning, and risk factors. Collaboration between physicians and mental health providers including psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, and social workers to provide evidence informed rapid coordination of care can better meet the global mental health crisis that is arising as a result of this unprecedented global trauma.