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1.
PLoS One ; 16(11): e0259594, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1504862

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the lives of many people, including medical students. The present study explored internet addiction and changes in sleep patterns among medical students during the pandemic and assessed the relationship between them. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was carried out in seven countries, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Guyana, India, Mexico, Pakistan, and Sudan, using a convenience sampling technique, an online survey comprising demographic details, information regarding COVID-19, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), and the Internet Addiction Test (IAT). RESULTS: In total, 2749 participants completed the questionnaire. Of the total, 67.6% scored above 30 in the IAT, suggesting the presence of an Internet addiction, and 73.5% scored equal and above 5 in the PSQI, suggesting poor sleep quality. Internet addiction was found to be significant predictors of poor sleep quality, causing 13.2% of the variance in poor sleep quality. Participants who reported COVID-19 related symptoms had disturbed sleep and higher internet addiction levels when compared with those who did not. Participants who reported a diagnosis of COVID-19 reported poor sleep quality. Those living with a COVID-19 diagnosed patient reported higher internet addiction and worse sleep quality compared with those who did not have any COVID-19 patients in their surroundings. CONCLUSION: The results of this study suggest that internet addiction and poor sleep quality are two issues that require addressing amongst medical students. Medical training institutions should do their best to minimize their negative impact, particularly during the current COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Internet Addiction Disorder/complications , Internet Addiction Disorder/epidemiology , Sleep Wake Disorders/complications , Sleep Wake Disorders/epidemiology , Sleep , Students, Medical , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Internationality , Language , Male , Pandemics , Research Design , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
3.
Brain Behav ; 11(11): e2383, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1469421

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Poor quality sleep and emotional disturbances are expected in times of crisis. COVID-19 has severely impacted healthcare worldwide and with that comes the concern about its effects on healthcare workers. The purpose of the present study was to assess sleep quality and psychological distress in healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: The present work is a multi-centric cross-sectional study targeting healthcare workers from India, Pakistan, and Nepal. It used an online version of the Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index and the General Health Questionnaire, and data were analyzed using SPSS V.24. RESULTS: A total of 1790 participants completed the questionnaire. Of the 1790 participants, 57% reported poor sleep quality, and 10% reported a high level of psychological distress. A cross-cultural comparison found some differences between the different groups of participants. The details of the differences were further explored in the article. CONCLUSION: The present study highlights that a significant proportion of healthcare workers are affected by poor sleep quality and psychological distress during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also emphasizes the imperative to provide them with psychosocial support to avoid potential short- and long-term psychological consequences of these troubling times.

8.
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.

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
13.
J Addict Med ; 14(6): e287-e289, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1020285

ABSTRACT

: Globally, there are concerns about access to healthcare and harm reduction services for people who use drugs (PWUD) during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Members from the Network of Early Career Professionals working in Addiction Medicine shared their experiences of providing treatment to PWUD during the COVID-19 pandemic. Drawing on these qualitative reports, we highlight the similarities and discrepancies in access to services for PWUD in 16 countries under COVID-10 restrictions. In most countries reported here, efforts have been made to ensure continued access to services, such as mobilising opioid agonist maintenance treatment and other essential medicines to patients. However, due to travel restrictions and limited telemedicine services, several Network of Early Career Professionals working in Addiction Medicine members from lower-resourced countries experienced challenges with providing care to their patients during periods of COVID-19 lock-down. The insights provided in this commentary illustrate how the COVID-19 lock-down restrictions have impacted access to services for PWUD.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Health Services Accessibility , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Substance-Related Disorders/therapy , Ambulatory Care , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Emergency Service, Hospital , Harm Reduction , Humans , Infection Control , Needle-Exchange Programs , Opiate Substitution Treatment , Opioid-Related Disorders/prevention & control , Opioid-Related Disorders/therapy , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Substance-Related Disorders/prevention & control
15.
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.

16.
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.

18.
Australas Psychiatry ; 28(5): 524-526, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-691003

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To summarise publications reporting on alcohol consumption and alcohol-related problems during the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in a narrative review. METHODS: ProQuest, Web of Science and Google Scholar were searched for articles published in 2020. This search used two terms: 'alcohol' and 'COVID'. Reference lists of articles were reviewed to identify additional articles. RESULTS: There is growing concern around an increase in alcohol intake and alcohol-related harms. These concerns are related to the impact of excessive alcohol consumption in a person with COVID-19 and/or with alcohol use disorder, as well as with a potential increase in the prevalence of harmful drinking, alcohol use disorder, withdrawal symptoms, intimate partner violence, harm to children, suicide, mental health problems and non-communicable diseases. The need for assessing alcohol use and providing adequate advice during the pandemic have been highlighted. CONCLUSION: The time for action is now, and all necessary measures to prevent an increase in alcohol-related problems should be adopted. At the same time, healthcare services should also prepare for such potential increase, while adapting to the exceptional circumstances presented by the pandemic, such as physical distancing.


Subject(s)
Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology , Alcoholism/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Comorbidity , Humans , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2
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