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Psychiatr Danub ; 32(1): 25-31, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2100748


Deep emotional traumas in societies overwhelmed by large-scale human disasters, like, global pandemic diseases, natural disasters, man-made tragedies, war conflicts, social crises, etc., can cause massive stress-related disorders. Motivated by the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic, the article provides an overview of scientific evidence regarding adverse impact of diverse human disasters on mental health in afflicted groups and societies. Following this broader context, psychosocial impact of COVID-19 as a specific global human disaster is presented, with an emphasis on disturbing mental health aspects of the ongoing pandemic. Limited resources of mental health services in a number of countries around the world are illustrated, which will be further stretched by the forthcoming increase in demand for mental health services due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Mental health challenges are particularly important for the Republic of Croatia in the current situation, due to disturbing stress of the 2020 Zagreb earthquake and the high pre-pandemic prevalence of chronic Homeland-War-related posttraumatic stress disorders. Comprehensive approach based on digital psychiatry is proposed to address the lack of access to psychiatric services, which includes artificial intelligence, telepsychiatry and an array of new technologies, like internet-based computer-aided mental health tools and services. These tools and means should be utilized as an important part of the whole package of measures to mitigate negative mental health effects of the global coronavirus pandemic. Our scientific and engineering experiences in the design and development of digital tools and means in mitigation of stress-related disorders and assessment of stress resilience are presented. Croatian initiative on enhancement of interdisciplinary research of psychiatrists, psychologists and computer scientists on the national and EU level is important in addressing pressing mental health concerns related to the ongoing pandemic and similar human disasters.

Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Disasters , Mental Health Services , Mental Health , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Psychiatry , Telemedicine , Artificial Intelligence , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Croatia , Humans , Internet , Pandemics , Psychiatry/trends , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine/trends , User-Computer Interface
Frontiers in psychology ; 12, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1619178


The COVID-19 pandemic has adverse consequences on human psychology and behavior long after initial recovery from the virus. These COVID-19 health sequelae, if undetected and left untreated, may lead to more enduring mental health problems, and put vulnerable individuals at risk of developing more serious psychopathologies. Therefore, an early distinction of such vulnerable individuals from those who are more resilient is important to undertake timely preventive interventions. The main aim of this article is to present a comprehensive multimodal conceptual approach for addressing these potential psychological and behavioral mental health changes using state-of-the-art tools and means of artificial intelligence (AI). Mental health COVID-19 recovery programs at post-COVID clinics based on AI prediction and prevention strategies may significantly improve the global mental health of ex-COVID-19 patients. Most COVID-19 recovery programs currently involve specialists such as pulmonologists, cardiologists, and neurologists, but there is a lack of psychiatrist care. The focus of this article is on new tools which can enhance the current limited psychiatrist resources and capabilities in coping with the upcoming challenges related to widespread mental health disorders. Patients affected by COVID-19 are more vulnerable to psychological and behavioral changes than non-COVID populations and therefore they deserve careful clinical psychological screening in post-COVID clinics. However, despite significant advances in research, the pace of progress in prevention of psychiatric disorders in these patients is still insufficient. Current approaches for the diagnosis of psychiatric disorders largely rely on clinical rating scales, as well as self-rating questionnaires that are inadequate for comprehensive assessment of ex-COVID-19 patients’ susceptibility to mental health deterioration. These limitations can presumably be overcome by applying state-of-the-art AI-based tools in diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of psychiatric disorders in acute phase of disease to prevent more chronic psychiatric consequences.