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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