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1.
Asia Pac Psychiatry ; : e12501, 2021 Dec 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1560136

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Digital mental health interventions and digital psychiatry have been rapidly implemented over the past decade, particularly with the intent to offer a cost-effective solution in those circumstances in which the current mental health services and infrastructure are not able to properly accommodate the patients' needs. However, mental health workforce is often poorly theoretical/practical trained in digital psychiatry and in delivering remote consultations safely and effectively, not being common to own curricula-specific training requirements in digital psychiatry and skills. METHODS: A web-based international cross-sectional survey was carried out by a working group constituted by one or two national representative(s) of each WHO South-East Asia and Western Pacific Regions (APAC), with the aim to evaluate the level of training, knowledge, experience, and perception regarding the topic of digital psychiatry in a sample constituted by medical students, psychiatry trainees, and early career psychiatrists from APAC. RESULTS: An overall lack of theoretical and/or practical training on new digital tools and digital health interventions in psychiatry was observed. The level of training influences knowledge background, which, in turns, influences young professionals' perceptions and opinions regarding digital psychiatry and interventions in mental health. CONCLUSION: Implementing psychiatry training programs may significantly improve the level of knowledge and use of digital tools in mental healthcare. Moreover, mental health services and infrastructures should be properly adapted to the digital era, considering the overall weak and heterogeneous technical support and equipment, issues of internet connectivity, and other administrative-related challenges observed in APAC.

4.
Medicina (Kaunas) ; 57(8)2021 Jul 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376898

ABSTRACT

Background and Objectives: The Internet is widely used and disseminated amongst youngsters and many web-based applications may serve to improve mental health care access, particularly in remote and distant sites or in settings where there is a shortage of mental health practitioners. However, in recent years, specific digital psychiatry interventions have been developed and implemented for special populations such as children and adolescents. Materials and Methods: Hereby, we describe the current state-of-the-art in the field of TMH application for young mental health, focusing on recent studies concerning anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder and affective disorders. Results: After screening and selection process, a total of 56 studies focusing on TMH applied to youth depression (n = 29), to only youth anxiety (n = 12) or mixed youth anxiety/depression (n = 7) and youth OCD (n = 8) were selected and retrieved. Conclusions: Telemental Health (TMH; i.e., the use of telecommunications and information technology to provide access to mental health assessment, diagnosis, intervention, consultation, supervision across distance) may offer an effective and efficacious tool to overcome many of the barriers encountering in the delivery of young mental health care.


Subject(s)
Mental Health , Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder , Adolescent , Anxiety/epidemiology , Child , Depression/epidemiology , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder/diagnosis , Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder/epidemiology , Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder/therapy
5.
Psychiatr Serv ; : appips202000774, 2021 Jul 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1301773

ABSTRACT

Every health care system requires an adequate health care workforce, service delivery, financial support, and information technology. During the COVID-19 pandemic, global health systems were ill prepared to address the rising prevalence of mental health problems, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), thereby increasing treatment gaps. To close these gaps globally, task shifting and telepsychiatry should be made available and maximized, particularly in LMICs. Task shifting to nonspecialist health workers to improve essential mental health coverage and encourage efficient use of the available resources and technology has become the most viable strategy.

9.
Front Psychiatry ; 12: 623508, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1167376

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause an immense psychosocial strain worldwide. Excessive use of the internet during these psychologically trying times, fueled by physical isolation as a result of lockdowns, has translated into dysfunctional behaviors. A growing body of evidence suggests an unprecedented increase in internet use and consumption of online pornography during the pandemic, and possibly even directly caused by it. In this review, the authors report data from relevant sources to show the rise in pornography use during lockdowns in different countries worldwide. In addition to a brief overview of the neurobiology of internet addiction broadly and problematic online pornography use specifically, similarities with substance use disorders are explained. Further, the current status of the debate about defining diagnostic criteria is discussed. Finally, the review sheds light on the potential detrimental outcomes during the future post-pandemic "re-adaptation," while simultaneously offering preventative and management strategies for harm reduction. The authors conclude that foresightedness with utilizing existing tools and therapies and exercising appropriate amounts of caution could go a long way in addressing the challenges that lie ahead in the post-pandemic era.

10.
Int J Psychiatry Clin Pract ; 25(2): 172-179, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1153007

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Quarantine, although essential during contagious outbreaks, has been correlated with poor psychological outcomes in the general population. Such outcomes include low mood, suicide, and post-traumatic stress symptoms. Studies have mostly looked at the mental health of general citizens, healthcare workers, or infected survivors, with limited research targeting university students. This study aimed to understand the psychological distress experienced by self-quarantined undergraduate university students in Lebanon during the COVID-19 outbreak. METHODS: Undergraduate students enrolled at the American University of Beirut were invited to participate in a 47-item online questionnaire. 73 participants completed the questionnaire. Demographic data, data about COVID-19 exposure, stressors during quarantine, understanding the rationale, compliance, and difficulties associated with quarantine, and levels of psychological distress were analysed. RESULTS: 75.3% of the participants were considered as having a high risk of developing acute stress. Undergoing quarantine for more than 14 days, having a chronic medical illness, inadequate access to supplies, and fear of infection were all significantly associated with an increased risk of acute stress. CONCLUSION: Despite being a necessary preventive measure during infectious disease outbreaks, quarantine can be associated with negative psychological effects, particularly in undergraduate students. Providing preventive and effective interventions is of utmost necessity.KEY POINTSDuring COVID-19, three-quarter of students had high risk for acute stress.Females had higher odds of high-risk acute stress compared to males.Having a chronic medical condition was associated with high risk acute stress.Long quarantine and lack of supplies were associated with high risk acute stress.Providing interventions to protect the mental health of students is necessary.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Psychological Distress , Quarantine/psychology , Students/psychology , Adolescent , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Lebanon/epidemiology , Male , Psychiatric Status Rating Scales , Quarantine/statistics & numerical data , Risk Factors , Students/statistics & numerical data , Surveys and Questionnaires , Universities/statistics & numerical data , Young Adult
12.
Australas Psychiatry ; 29(3): 326-332, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1099853

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The global crisis of COVID-19 and its consequential strict public health measures placed around the world have impacted mental health. New scales and tools have been developed to measure these mental health effects. This narrative review assesses the psychometric properties of these scales and tools and methodological aspects of their development. METHODS: PubMed, PubMed Central, and Google Scholar were searched for articles published from 15 May 2020 to 15 August 2020. This search used three groups of terms ("tool" OR "scale" AND "mental" OR "psychological"; AND "COVID-19" OR "coronavirus"). The identified scales were further evaluated for their psychometric properties and methodological aspects of their development. RESULTS: Though the studies developing these scales (n = 12) have demonstrated their robust psychometric properties, some methodological concerns are noteworthy. Most of the scales were validated using internet-based surveys, and detailed descriptions of the mode of administration, sampling process, response rates, and augmentation strategies were missing. CONCLUSIONS: The heterogeneous and inadequate reporting of methods adopted to evaluate the psychometric properties of the identified scales can limit their utility in clinical and research settings. We suggest developing guidelines and checklists to improve the design and testing, and result in reporting of online-administered scales to assess the mental health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mental Disorders/diagnosis , Mental Disorders/etiology , Neuropsychological Tests/standards , Psychometrics/standards , Humans
14.
Gen Psychiatr ; 33(5): e100270, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-879144

ABSTRACT

The collaborative effort of an international research team from the Early Career Psychiatrists section of the World Psychiatry Association has brought about an easy-to-use, quick and stepwise mental health care toolkit for the identification and appropriate referral of those in need of mental health care during the pandemic. This simple guide can be applied in the general outpatient setting and is catered for all healthcare professionals, regardless of their expertise within the mental health field with minimal training. It is our hope that by incorporating this toolkit into our daily clinical care during the pandemic for high-risk patients and patients with non-specific complaints, we will be able to bridge the mental health gap present in our society.

15.
Front Psychiatry ; 11: 552450, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-854029

ABSTRACT

Background: The rapid spread of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has forced most countries to take drastic public health measures, including the closure of most mental health outpatient services and some inpatient units. This has suddenly created the need to adapt and expand telepsychiatry care across the world. However, not all health care services might be ready to cope with this public health demand. The present study was set to create a practical and clinically useful protocol for telemental health care to be applied in the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: A panel of psychiatrists from 15 different countries [covering all World Health Organization (WHO) regions] was convened. The panel used a combination of reactive Delphi technique and consensus development conference strategies to develop a protocol for the provision of telemental health care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Results: The proposed protocol describes a semi-structured initial assessment and a series of potential interventions matching mild, moderate, or high-intensity needs of target populations. Conclusions: Telemedicine has become a pivotal tool in the task of ensuring the continuous provision of mental health care for the population, and the outlined protocol can assist with this task. The strength of this protocol lies in its practicality, clinical usefulness, and wide transferability, resulting from the diversity of the consensus group that developed it. Developed by psychiatrists from around the globe, the proposed protocol may prove helpful for many clinical and cultural contexts, assisting mental health care providers worldwide.

20.
Asian J Psychiatr ; 51: 102085, 2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-245255

ABSTRACT

The emergence of mental health (MH) problems during a pandemic is extremely common, though difficult to address due to the complexities of pandemics and the scarcity of evidence about the epidemiology of pandemic-related MH problems and the potential interventions to tackle them. Little attention has been devoted so far to this topic from policymakers, stakeholders and researchers, resulting in a lack of replicable, scalable and applicable frameworks to help plan, develop and deliver MH care during pandemics. As a response, we have attempted to develop a conceptual framework (CF) that could guide the development, implementation, and evaluation of MH interventions during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This CF was developed by early career psychiatrists from 16 countries that cover all the WHO regions. Their opinions were elicited via a semi-structured questionnaire. They were asked to provide their views about the current MH situation in their countries and to elaborate on existing 'myths' and misinformation. They were also asked to name the resources available and to propose solutions and approaches to provide accessible and affordable care. The CF was prepared based on the extant literature and the views discussed in this group; it illustrates the epidemiology of MH problems, preparedness plans, stage-specific plans or innovative solutions, opportunities to integrate those plans and possible outcomes at policy level. This CF can serve as a technical guide for future research regarding pandemics. It can be used to monitor trends and to optimize efforts, and to develop evidence based MH interventions. Still, further research focusing on the individual components of this framework is needed.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Health Services Accessibility , Mental Disorders/therapy , Mental Health Services , Pandemics , Physicians , Pneumonia, Viral , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Psychiatry , Adult , COVID-19 , Female , Health Services Accessibility/standards , Humans , Male , Mental Health Services/organization & administration , Mental Health Services/standards , Physicians/standards , Psychiatry/methods , Psychiatry/organization & administration , Psychiatry/standards , World Health Organization
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