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Indian J Psychiatry ; 63(3): 222-227, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1296031


BACKGROUND: Little information is available from India about the psychological impact of COVID-19 on helath-care workers. AIM: The current study aimed to evaluate the psychological issues among the health-care workers (HCW) during the COVID-19 pandemic. MATERIALS AND METHODS: An online survey using Survey Monkey® platform was carried out to evaluate depression (using Patient Health Questionnaire-9), anxiety (using Generalized Anxiety Disorder Questionnaire-7), and other psychological issues (using a self-designed questionnaire). RESULTS: The study sample comprised 303 participants with a mean age of 41.2 (standard deviation: 11.1) years. A majority of them were male (69%) and married (79.9%). Nearly half (46.2%) of the participants had either anxiety disorder or depression or both and 12.9% of HCW had suicidal behavior. Higher level of anxiety and depression scores were associated with being female, having undergone quarantine, directly involved in the care of COVID-19 patients, and younger age (<30 years). Higher prevalence of depression and anxiety disorder was seen in younger (<30 years) age group, being a doctor (compared to paramedics). In addition, higher prevalence of depression was seen in those who were directly involved in the care of patients with COVID-19 infection. CONCLUSION: About half of the HCWs are suffering from psychiatric morbidity, specifically anxiety, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is a need to assess all the HCWs for psychiatric morbidity and provide them with psychological support.

Indian J Psychiatry ; 63(2): 201-203, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1209095
Cureus ; 12(10): e11048, 2020 Oct 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-902952


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused a major psychosocial impact in the community due to its direct effects and restrictive control strategies, e.g. lockdown. The current pandemic, a highly stressful situation, can predispose not only vulnerable but previously well-adjusted individuals for psychological disorders. A retrospective chart review of consultation-liaison psychiatry (CLP) case records was conducted for one month before and after the start of lockdown. Patients seen during lockdown were relatively younger; t = 1.8, p = 0.074. The most common psychiatric emergency was a suicidal attempt (34.3%) and delirium (35.4%) during and before lockdown, respectively. The probability of the emergency psychiatry presentation for attempted suicide increased significantly during lockdown (odds ratio (OR) 8.0, 95% CI 2.03 to 31.57, p = 0.003). The most common stressors for CLP patients with suicide attempts during lockdown were relationship issues and loss of privacy. It seems that stressors arising due to the current crisis are not only highly severe and multiple but qualitatively different. Further studies with larger sample sizes and from other parts of the country can further improve our understating of the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the affected community. Needless to say, higher vigilance in the community for at-risk individuals, availability, and awareness about telemedicine services can play an important role to combat the risk of suicide during the lockdown.

Indian J Psychiatry ; 62(4): 370-378, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-738113


INTRODUCTION: To mitigate the spread of the pandemic coronavirus infection (COVID-19), governments across the world have adopted "lockdowns" which have confined many individuals to their homes. This disrupts normal life routines, elements of which are important circadian cues. The pandemic is also associated with new stressors, altered roles, and uncertainties about health and economic security, which are also likely to affect sleep. The current study is an online survey of sleep experience, routines, physical activity, and symptoms of anxiety and depression, to study the alterations associated with the lockdown. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The survey was conducted in early May 2020 using a questionnaire circulated through social media platforms. Questions related to demographic characteristics, current and previous sleep schedules, routine, and working patterns. Insomnia (Insomnia Severity Index - 4), Stress (Perceived Stress Scale - 4), anxiety and depressive symptoms (Patient Health Questionnaire - 4) and physical activity (International Physical Activities Questionnaire) were assessed using standardized instruments. RESULTS: A total of 958 valid responses were received. Compared to the prelockdown period, there was a shift to a later bedtime and waking time, with a reduction in night-time sleep and an increase in day-time napping. These effects were visible across occupational groups, but mostly affected working individuals except health professionals. Sleep quality deteriorated across groups. Reductions in sleep duration were associated with depressive symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 lockdown is associated with changes in sleep schedule and in the quantity and quality of night-time sleep. Although these changes are associated with elevated rates of emotional symptoms, it is unclear from these cross-sectional results, whether sleep deterioration produces psychological distress, or vice versa.