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2.
J Multidiscip Healthc ; 15: 289-307, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1706999

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic created a crisis in the world of information and digital literacy. The amount of misinformation surrounding COVID-19 that has circulated through social media (SM) since January 2020 is notably significant and has been linked to rising levels of anxiety and fear amongst SM users. AIM: This study aimed to assess SM practices during COVID-19 and investigated their impact on users' well-being. METHODS: An online survey was distributed between June 10 and July 31 2020 via different SM platforms in the United Arab Emirates and other Arabic-speaking countries. Adults above 18 years of age who spoke Arabic or English were invited to complete the survey which covered multiple domains, use and practices related to social media platforms and mental health questions, including the WHO-5 Well-Being Index. RESULTS: Out of 993 participants, 73% were females, 76% were non-Emirati, 91% were university graduates, and 50% were employed in various occupations, of which 20% were health care professionals. Participants indicated that they acquired COVID-19 related information primarily from social media and messaging applications of which WhatsApp was the most used. Most participants reported sharing information after verification. The mean well-being score was 12.6 ±5.6, with 49% of participants reporting poor well-being (WHO-5 score <12.5). Adjusted linear regression showed that Facebook usage was negatively associated with well-being scores. Additionally, high time use was associated with poorer well-being. When adjusting for other factors, including low confidence in information around COVID-19 and poor knowledge overall, SM usage was significantly associated with poorer well-being. CONCLUSION: The study sheds light on the use of SM during the pandemic and its impact on well-being throughout the novel coronavirus pandemic. Social media practices during emergencies and disasters may impact public well-being. Authorities are advised to step in to minimize the spread of misinformation and more frequent use of social media as it may influence well-being. Public health specialists, information technology and communication experts should collaborate to limit the infodemic effect on communities.

3.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-320467

ABSTRACT

Background: Studies have investigated the psychosocial impact of infectious disease outbreaks in adults;however, there is limited information on the mental health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children and the general UAE community. The aim of this study was to explore anxiety levels among parents, teachers and the general community amid the COVID-19 pandemic in the UAE, as well as to identify emotional and anxiety disorders in children. Methods: Using a web-based cross-sectional survey we collected data from 2,200 self-selected, assessed volunteers. Demographic information, knowledge and beliefs about COVID-19, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) using the (GAD-7) scale , emotional problems in children using the strengths and difficulties questionnaire (SDQ), worry and fear about COVID-19, coping mechanisms and general health information were collected. Results: The overall prevalence of GAD in the general population was 71% with younger people (59.8%) and females (51.7%) reporting highest levels of anxiety. Parents who were teachers reported the highest percentage of emotional problems in children (26.7%). Multivariate logistic regression for GAD-7 scores showed that being female, reporting high levels of worry associated with COVID-19, intention to take the COVID-19 vaccine and smoking were associated with higher levels of anxiety. Multivariate logistic regression for SDQ showed that parents with severe anxiety were seven times more likely to report emotional problems in their children than less anxious parents. Conclusions: This study is among the first to report the psychological impact of COVID-19 among adults and children in the UAE, and to highlight the significant association between parental and child anxiety. Findings suggest the urgency for policy makers to develop effective screening and coping strategies for parents and especially children.

5.
BMC Psychiatry ; 21(1): 224, 2021 05 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1215102

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The psychosocial impact of previous infectious disease outbreaks in adults has been well documented, however, there is limited information on the mental health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on adults and children in the United Arab Emirate (UAE) community. The aim of this study was to explore anxiety levels among adults and children in the UAE and to identify potential risk and protective factors for well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Using a web-based cross-sectional survey we collected data from 2200 self-selected, assessed volunteers and their children. Demographic information, knowledge and beliefs about COVID-19, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) using the (GAD-7) scale, emotional problems in children using the strengths and difficulties questionnaire (SDQ), worry and fear about COVID-19, coping mechanisms and general health information were collected. Descriptive analysis was carried out to summarize demographic and participant characteristics, Chi-square analysis to explore associations between categorical variables and anxiety levels and multivariable binary logistic regression analysis to determine predictors of anxiety levels in adults and emotional problems in children. RESULTS: The overall prevalence of GAD in the general population was 71% with younger people (59.8%) and females (51.7%) reporting highest levels of anxiety. Parents who were teachers reported the highest percentage of emotional problems in children (26.7%). Adjusted multivariable logistic regression for GAD-7 scores showed that being female, high levels of worry associated with COVID-19, intention to take the COVID-19 vaccine and smoking were associated with higher levels of anxiety. Adjusted multivariable logistic regression for SDQ showed that higher emotional problems were reported for children in lower and higher secondary education, and parents who had severe anxiety were seven times more likely to report emotional problems in their children. CONCLUSIONS: This study reports the psychological impact of COVID-19 among adults and children in the UAE and highlights the significant association between parental and child anxiety. Findings suggest the urgency for policy makers to develop effective screening and coping strategies for parents and especially children.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Adult , COVID-19 Vaccines , Child , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , United Arab Emirates/epidemiology
6.
Int J Emerg Med ; 14(1): 19, 2021 Mar 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1150387

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed a suboptimal response to this threatening global disaster, including the response to the psychological impact. Both the economic hardship and the continuous media coverage of alarming news have exacerbated this effect which also includes increased domestic violence. AIM: To address this important aspect of disaster management and provide recommendations on how to mitigate these effects. METHODS: This is a narrative review written by three experts in community medicine, disaster medicine and psychiatry reflecting the interdisciplinary approach in managing disasters. Selected important papers, personal published papers, PUBMED articles and media news related to the disaster management of the psychological effects of COVID-19 pandemic were collected over the last year, critically appraised and used in writing this manuscript. RESULTS: The COVID-19 pandemic causes major emotional distress. Lack of effective treatments and availability of the current vaccines for this virus increases the fear of being infected and infecting others. Negative emotions are common and are related to adjustment but may progress in the long term to anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress syndrome. The COVID-19 pandemic has a major impact on mental health. The most common distress reactions include anxiety, insomnia, perception of insecurity, anger, fear of illness, and risky behaviors. Patients having mental disorders are vulnerable during the pandemic because of (1) somatic vulnerability, (2) cognitive and behavioral vulnerability, (3) psychosocial vulnerability, and (4) disruption to psychiatric care. Psychiatric wards, which are commonly separate from main hospitals, should be included in the disaster management plans. Acute care physicians carry the psychological and ethical impact of difficult triage decisions when ending the support of some patients to save others. A combination of fear and guilt may overcome normal human tolerance levels in vulnerable health workers. The moral injuries can be carried for a long time. CONCLUSIONS: Addressing the psychological effects is an essential component of disaster management of infectious pandemics. This should be implemented through the whole spectrum of disaster management including preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery.

7.
8.
Front Pharmacol ; 11: 577678, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1006199

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in humans that is caused by SARS-associated coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2). In the context of COVID-19, several aspects of the relations between psychiatry and the pandemic due to the coronavirus have been described. Some drugs used as antiviral medication have neuropsychiatric side effects, and conversely some psychotropic drugs have antiviral properties. Chlorpromazine (CPZ, Largactil®) is a well-established antipsychotic medication that has recently been proposed to have antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2. This review aims to 1) inform health care professionals and scientists about the history of CPZ use in psychiatry and its potential anti- SARS-CoV-2 activities 2) inform psychiatrists about its potential anti-SARS-CoV-2 activities, and 3) propose a research protocol for investigating the use of CPZ in the treatment of COVID-19 during the potential second wave. The history of CPZ's discovery and development is described in addition to the review of literature from published studies within the discipline of virology related to CPZ. The early stages of infection with coronavirus are critical events in the course of the viral cycle. In particular, viral entry is the first step in the interaction between the virus and the cell that can initiate, maintain, and spread the infection. The possible mechanism of action of CPZ is related to virus cell entry via clathrin-mediated endocytosis. Therefore, CPZ could be useful to treat COVID-19 patients provided that its efficacy is evaluated in adequate and well-conducted clinical trials. Interestingly, clinical trials of very good quality are in progress. However, more information is still needed about the appropriate dosage regimen. In short, CPZ repositioning is defined as a new use beyond the field of psychiatry.

9.
Front Psychiatry ; 11: 567539, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1000148

ABSTRACT

An epidemic of an infectious disease such as COVID-19 is often a source of emotional distress, even among those who have not been directly exposed to the disease. The period following the acute phase of the coronavirus epidemic and the mitigation measures will likely be hardest for medical professionals in terms of psychological impact. Bibliotherapy is a systematic intervention regarding the use of carefully selected reading materials in order to help persons to cope with stress and personal problems. This therapy can be used easily during the pandemic. The review of evidence shows that this kind of intervention can be helpful in educational and clinical contexts. During the crisis, it can be an alternative to video and film entertainment and a transition from serious medical journal clubs to a softer medical humanities experience. In this article, we summarized the historical background of bibliotherapy. We also proposed a reading list from different times, and cultures relating to pandemic, quarantine, symptoms, confinement, and social impacts (e.g., Camus, Moravia, London, Le Clezio etc.). Bibliotherapy can be a way for doctors and healthcare workers fighting on the frontline of the pandemic to find psychological support and for debriefing. Bibliotherapy can help individuals that need support for emotional distress during the pandemic to verbalize their feelings and emotions and identify new ways of addressing problems.

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