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1.
Adv Exp Med Biol ; 1411: 135-160, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2301272

ABSTRACT

An increasing number of studies have investigated the role of inflammation in psychiatric disorders, by demonstrating how an altered/dysfunctional immunological and inflammatory system may underpin a psychiatric condition. Particularly, several studies specifically investigated the role of a neuroinflammatory biomarker, named C-reactive protein (CRP), in psychiatric disorders. Overall, even though scientific literature so far published still does not appear definitive, CRP is more likely reported to be elevated in several psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, mood disorders, anxiety disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder. Moreover, a low-grade inflammation (CRP >3 mg/L) has been more likely observed in a subgroup of patients affected with a more severe psychopathological symptomatology, more treatment resistance and worst clinical mental illness course, strengthening the hypothesis of the need for a different clinical and prognostic characterization based on this concomitant neuroinflammatory predisposition. However, even though further research studies are needed to confirm this preliminary evidence, CRP may represent a potential clinical routine biomarker which could be integrated in the clinical routine practice to better characterize clinical picture and course as well as address clinicians towards a personalized treatment.


Subject(s)
Schizophrenia , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic , Humans , Biomarkers/metabolism , C-Reactive Protein/analysis , Inflammation/diagnosis , Schizophrenia/diagnosis , Schizophrenia/drug therapy , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/diagnosis
2.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 20(5)2023 03 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2275073

ABSTRACT

In recent years, there has been a gradual digitalization of our society, resulting in intensified technology use for daily life activities, including the emergence of problematic Internet use (PIU). Few studies specifically addressed the boredom and loneliness dimensions in mediating the association between depression, anxiety, and stress levels and the onset of PIU. A nationwide population-based cross-sectional case-control study was carried out by recruiting a sample of Italian young people (aged 18-35). Only 1643 participants were selected for the analyses based on the age and the presence versus absence of PIU. Participants were mainly females (68.7%), with a mean age of 21.8 (SD = 1.7). Non-PIU individuals had significantly stable relationships (p = 0.012), siblings (p = 0.044) and lived with their family (p = 0.010), compared to PIU. PIU individuals displayed significantly higher depression, anxiety, and stress, as well as higher loneliness and boredom levels (all p < 0.001), compared to non-PIU. Depressive symptomatology predicted PIU and that their interaction is positively double mediated by boredom and loneliness (ß = 0.3829 (0.0245), 95%CI = 0.3349-0.4309). Our findings suggested that boredom and loneliness dimensions could act as mediators in the association between depressive symptomatology and the likelihood of PIU onset and maintenance.


Subject(s)
Behavior, Addictive , Female , Humans , Adolescent , Young Adult , Adult , Male , Loneliness , Cross-Sectional Studies , Boredom , Case-Control Studies , Internet Use , Internet
3.
Healthcare (Basel) ; 11(3)2023 Feb 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2225133

ABSTRACT

Background: Perinatal depression (PND) represents one of the most common mental disorders in the pregnancy and/or postpartum period, with a 5-25% prevalence rate. Our aim was to investigate predictors associated with PND in a cohort of pregnant and puerperal women based in an Italian setting during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: We retrospectively recruited 199 (55 pregnant and 144 puerperal) women, afferent to our Perinatal Mental Outpatient Service of Ancona (Italy). Participants were administered an ad hoc case-report form, Whooley Questions (WQ), the General Health Questionnaire-12 (GHQ-12), the Stress Holmes-Rahe scale (HR) and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). Results: Around 10% of the sample had a confirmed PND. Being a foreigner woman (RR = 3.8), having a positive psychiatric family history (RR = 5.3), a pre-pregnancy medical comorbidity (RR = 1.85) and a comorbid medical illness occurring during the pregnancy (RR = 2) were much likely associated with PND. Multiple linear regression analysis demonstrated that GHQ, medium- and high-risk at the HR, foreign nationality, positive family psychiatric history, and neoplastic disease before conception significantly predicted EPDS [F(1, 197) = 10.086, R2 = 0.324, p < 0.001]. Limitations: The sample size, poor heterogeneity in terms of socio-demographic, clinical and gynecological-obstetric characteristics, the cross-sectional design of the study. Conclusions: Our study showed a set of predictors associated with a higher risk for the PND onset, including gestational and pregestational medical disease. Our findings outline the need to screen all fertile women, particularly in gynecological and medical settings, in order to identify at-risk women for PND and promptly suggest a psychiatric consultation.

4.
Front Psychiatry ; 13: 977681, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2154830

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic situation significantly affected the mental health of the general and clinical population. However, few studies investigated which COVID-19-related psychopathological determinants may predispose to perinatal depression. We evaluated the impact of COVID-19 related anxiety and fear on perinatal depression in Italy. We retrospectively screened 184 perinatal outpatients afferent to Perinatal Mental Health outpatient service, during March 2020-March 2021, by administering the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), the Fear of COVID-19 (FCV-19-S) and the Coronavirus Anxiety Scale (CAS). Among these, 85 patients agreed to be recruited in the present study. The mean EPDS score was 9.0, experiencing a clinically relevant perinatal depression in 45.7% of the sample. The mean FCV-19-S score was 15.0 and CAS was 1.7. Linear regression analyses demonstrated that FCV-19-S and CAS scores statistically significantly predicted EPDS total scores. A positive significant correlation was reported between FCV-19-S and EPDS and between CAS and EPDS. During the COVID-19 pandemic, women in their perinatal period, independently of previous psychiatric history, experienced increased levels of anxiety, fear and psychological distress, due to subsequent isolation, quarantine, lockdown and deprivation of their normal social support. Further preventive and screening strategies should be implemented in order to early identify at-risk pregnant and puerperal women during the COVID-19 pandemic.

5.
Ann Gen Psychiatry ; 21(1): 44, 2022 Nov 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2117506

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Use of social media (SM) has exponentially grown particularly among youths in the past two years, due to COVID-19-related changing lifestyles. Based on the Italian COvid Mental hEalth Trial (COMET), we investigated the association between SM use and depressive symptoms among Italian young adults (aged 18-24). METHODS: The COMET is a nationwide multi-center cross-sectional study that investigated socio-demographic data, social networking addiction (BSNAS), depression, anxiety, and stress (DASS-21), as well as impulsiveness (BIS-15) and aggressiveness (AQ) in a large sample of youngsters, in order to assess the association between BSNAS and DASS-21 indices. Mediation analyses were performed to evaluate the role of impulsiveness and aggressive personality traits in the association between SM use (SMU) and depression. RESULTS: 75.8% of the sample (n = 491) had a problematic SMU. SMU was reduced by high AQ and high DASS-21 scores (F = 42.338, p < 0.001, R2 = 0.207). Mediation analyses showed that SMU negatively predicted depressive symptomatology with the interaction mediated by AQ total (ß = - 0.1075), physical (ß = - 0.207) and anger (ß = - 0.0582), BIS-15 total (ß = - 0.0272) and attentional (ß = - 0.0302). High depressive levels were predicted by high AQ scores, low SMU levels, low verbal and physical AQ, and low attentional BIS-15 (F = 30.322, p < 0.001, R2 = 0.273). Depressive symptomatology negatively predicted SMU with their interaction mediated by AQ total (ß = - 0.1640), verbal (ß = 0.0436) and anger (ß = - 0.0807), BIS-15 total (ß = - 0.0448) and attentional (ß = - 0.0409). CONCLUSIONS: SMU during the early phases of the COVID-19 pandemic could have a beneficial role in buffering negative consequences linked to social isolation due to quarantine measures, despite this association being mediated by specific personality traits.

6.
Transl Neurosci ; 13(1): 201-210, 2022 Jan 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2005778

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Ekbom Syndrome (ES) is characterised by fixed, delusional beliefs that one's body is infested by parasites or other vermin in absence of supporting clinical evidence. Antipsychotic (AP) treatment, including long-acting injectable (LAI) AP in subjects with poor compliance, is prescribed to manage behavioural and psychotic symptomatology. Objectives: We describe a 70-year-old woman who was hospitalised after experiencing new-onset delusions of infestation with visual and tactile hallucinations that led to bizarre behaviours and progressive social withdrawal. Methods: She was diagnosed with ES and was initially treated with risperidone 3 mg; however, due to poor compliance and a lack of insight, she was switched to LAI palmitate paliperidone (LAI-PP). She was followed up for 8 months, administering Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, Montreal Cognitive Assessment, Global Assessment of Functioning, Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale, neurocognitive assessment, and neuroimaging. Results: After a progressive cognitive deterioration, she was diagnosed with an ES secondary to Lewy body dementia (DLB). Conclusion: The LAI-PP treatment determined a complete clinical remission of psychotic symptoms despite the emergence of an iatrogenic akinetic-rigid syndrome. The delay of confirmatory neurological diagnosis, the associated risky behaviours of the patient, and poor treatment adherence led clinicians to prescribe LAI-PP following a good clinical response to oral paliperidone. However, in the case of a suspected DLB diagnosis, the prescription of an LAI-PP as a first-line strategy should be carefully evaluated.

7.
Frontiers in psychiatry ; 13, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1989887

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic situation significantly affected the mental health of the general and clinical population. However, few studies investigated which COVID-19-related psychopathological determinants may predispose to perinatal depression. We evaluated the impact of COVID-19 related anxiety and fear on perinatal depression in Italy. We retrospectively screened 184 perinatal outpatients afferent to Perinatal Mental Health outpatient service, during March 2020-March 2021, by administering the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), the Fear of COVID-19 (FCV-19-S) and the Coronavirus Anxiety Scale (CAS). Among these, 85 patients agreed to be recruited in the present study. The mean EPDS score was 9.0, experiencing a clinically relevant perinatal depression in 45.7% of the sample. The mean FCV-19-S score was 15.0 and CAS was 1.7. Linear regression analyses demonstrated that FCV-19-S and CAS scores statistically significantly predicted EPDS total scores. A positive significant correlation was reported between FCV-19-S and EPDS and between CAS and EPDS. During the COVID-19 pandemic, women in their perinatal period, independently of previous psychiatric history, experienced increased levels of anxiety, fear and psychological distress, due to subsequent isolation, quarantine, lockdown and deprivation of their normal social support. Further preventive and screening strategies should be implemented in order to early identify at-risk pregnant and puerperal women during the COVID-19 pandemic.

8.
Compr Psychiatry ; 118: 152345, 2022 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1977160

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has heavily impacted social, economic and health systems worldwide. Necessary confinement measures have, in turn, contributed to the occurrence of several stress-related conditions and deterioration of pre-existing mental conditions, including insomnia. OBJECTIVE: The present study sought to investigate the occurrence and severity of insomnia during the COVID-19 lockdown among psychiatric patients and in the general population in the largest Italian sample examined to date. Potential factors associated with a risk of developing insomnia in the global sample were examined as well. METHODS: A sample of 20,720 people (5.5% of them being psychiatric patients) was assessed through an online survey conducted during lockdown between March and May 2020. To investigate the occurrence and severity of sleep related issues, the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) was used. In order to evaluate factors associated with the severity of insomnia in the global sample, multivariate linear regression models were performed. RESULTS: During the lockdown, patients with pre-existing mental disorders reported a mean higher score on the ISI scale (p < 0.001) compared to the general population. According to the multivariate regression models, the first three weeks of lockdown were significantly associated with a higher risk of insomnia, but the risk disappeared in the fourth week. Other associated factors included: the presence of a pre-existing mental disorder, ages 24 to 64 years old, and/or being female (p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Although containment measures represent essential public health strategies to avoid the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, sleep was one of the aspects affected during the early stages of the lockdown in both people with pre-existing mental disorders and general population. As an integral part of COVID-19 intervention, it is useful to raise awareness about these issues and to adopt both preventive and therapeutic interventions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders , Sleep Wake Disorders , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders/epidemiology , Young Adult
9.
Front Psychiatry ; 13: 869326, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1952731

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Adolescents and young adults represent a vulnerable population in the context of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The present retrospective study aims to investigate the pandemic's psychological impact on adolescents and young adults by analyzing data from an outpatient mental health service dedicated to youths in Umbria, central Italy. Materials and Methods: The clinical charts of subjects aged 14-24 who first accessed the service in the timeframe between March 1st, 2019, and February 28th, 2021, were reviewed. Subjects were divided into two subgroups according to the period of time when they accessed the service (pre-COVID-19 vs. during- COVID-19 outbreak). Bivariate analyses were performed using the Chi-square test and the Welch's t-test. A secondary analysis was performed considering only subjects suffering from psychiatric disorders. Furthermore, data concerning individuals who were already followed by the service before the pandemic were analyzed by the McNemar's test and the t-paired test to assess changes in treatment features. Results: The number of new accesses during the pandemic period remained stable. After the emergency onset, youths accessing the service showed a higher prevalence of anxiety disorders (p = 0.022). During the COVID-19 period, services were more frequently delivered by using a digital mental health approach (p = 0.001). Psychopharmacological treatment was more frequently prescribed among subjects that were referred to the service after the pandemic onset (p = 0.033). As for substance use, a highly significant reduction in opioid use was observed (p = 0.003). Family therapy was delivered less frequently in the during-COVID-19 subgroup, especially in the subpopulation of subjects suffering from psychiatric disorders (p = 0.013). When considering subjects referred to the service in the pre-COVID-19 period, the number of interventions provided to this population increased after the pandemic outbreak (p = 0.038). Conclusion: In the context of the COVID-19-related public health crisis, youths represent an at-risk population for which pathways to care should be reinforced, and targeted interventions, including psychosocial treatments, should be implemented.

10.
J Psychiatr Res ; 152: 242-249, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1895260

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The mental health of the Italian population declined at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, nationwide population prevalence estimates may not effectively reproduce the heterogeneity in distress responses to the pandemic. In particular, contextual determinants specific to COVID-19 pandemic need to be considered. We thus aimed to explore the association between local COVID-19 mortality rates and mental health response among the general population. METHODS: We capitalised on data (N = 17,628) from a large, cross-sectional, national survey, the COMET study, run between March and May 2020. While psychological distress was measured by General Health Questionnaire-12 (GHQ-12), the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale-21 Items (DASS-21) was used to assess relevant domains. In addition, a Covid-19 mortality ratio was built to compare single regional mortality rates to the national estimate and official statistics were used to control for other area-level determinants. RESULTS: Adjusted ordered regression analyses showed an association between mortality ratio and moderate (OR = 1.10, 95%CI 1.03-1.18) and severe (OR = 1.11, 95%CI 1.03-1.21) DASS-21 anxiety levels. No effects of mortality ratio on GHQ-12 scores and DASS-21 depression and stress levels, uniformly high across the country, were estimated. CONCLUSIONS: Although we could not find any association between regional COVID-19 mortality ratio and depression or psychological distress, anxiety levels were significantly increased among subjects from areas with the highest mortality rates. Local mortality rate seems a meaningful driver for anxiety among the general population. Considering the potentially long-lasting scenario, local public health authorities should provide neighbouring communities with preventive interventions reducing psychological isolation and anxiety levels.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Psychological Distress , Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety/psychology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/epidemiology , Depression/psychology , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology , Stress, Psychological/psychology , Surveys and Questionnaires
11.
J Affect Disord ; 311: 78-83, 2022 08 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1821319

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to explore the psychopathological burden related to COVID-19 together with coping strategies in healthcare workers, focusing on differences between frontline and second-line workers. METHODS: This is a cross-sectional study part of the COvid Mental hEalth Trial (COMET). Participants' socio-demographic and COVID-19-related information was collected through an online survey. Psychiatric symptoms and coping strategies were also investigated. Multivariate analyses, corrected for demographic characteristics, were adopted to assess differences between frontline and second-line workers. RESULTS: The sample consisted of 20,720 individuals. Healthcare workers (n = 2907) presented with significantly higher risk for mental health disturbances as compared to the rest of the sample (p < 0.001). Healthcare professionals working versus not working on the front line differed in living in severely impacted areas (p < 0.001), precautionary isolation by COVID-19 (p < 0.001), infection by COVID-19 (p < 0.001). Frontline workers also reported significantly increased insomnia (p < 0.001), depression (p = 0.007), anxiety (p < 0.001), obsessive-compulsive symptoms (p < 0.001), non-specific chronic and acute traumatic stress (p < 0.001; p < 0.001), as well as more adaptive coping strategies (p = 0.001). LIMITATIONS: The survey was conducted between March and June 2020, at the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak in Italy. Accordingly, the mental health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic might have changed over time. The survey design involved online invitation and it was not possible to assess the participation rate. CONCLUSIONS: To our knowledge, this is the largest study addressing the psychopathological burden of Italian healthcare professionals during the COVID-19 outbreak and associated coping strategies. Empowering supportive interventions is crucial for the whole healthcare workforce.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders , Adaptation, Psychological , Anxiety/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/epidemiology , Health Personnel/psychology , Humans , Mental Health , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders/epidemiology
12.
Eating and Weight Disorders ; 26(8):2443-2452, 2022.
Article in English | APA PsycInfo | ID: covidwho-1717279

ABSTRACT

Purpose: The COVID-19 pandemic restrictions had negative impact on the psychopathology of people with Eating Disorders (EDs). Factors involved in the vulnerability to stressful events have been under-investigated in this population. We aimed to assess which factors contributed to COVID-19-induced worsening in both general and specific psychopathology. Methods: Three-hundred and twelve people with a clinically defined diagnosis of an ED and undergoing a specialist ED treatment in different Italian ED services before the spreading of COVID-19 pandemic filled in an online survey. ED specific and general psychopathology changes after COVID-19 quarantine were retrospectively evaluated. Factors related to COVID-19 concerns (financial condition, fear of contagion, perceived social isolation/support, satisfaction in peer, family or sentimental relationships), illness duration and treatment-related variables (type of treatment provided, type of access to care, satisfaction with therapeutic relationships) were included as predicting factors in a structural equational model, which included latent variables consisting of general and ED psychopathology items as outcomes. Results: A perceived low quality of therapeutic relationships, fear of contagion and increased isolation were positively associated with psychopathology worsening. Reduced satisfaction with family and with friends' relationships and reduced perceived social support were associated with ED and general symptoms deterioration, respectively. No significant effect emerged for intimate relationships, illness duration, economic condition and type of treatment. Conclusions: This study provides a comprehensive evaluation of clinical variables associated with psychopathological changes during the COVID-19 lockdown period highlighting potential risk and resilience factors and, possibly, informing treatment as well as prevention strategies for EDs. Level of evidence IV: Evidence obtained from multiple time series analysis such as case studies. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved)

13.
Healthcare (Basel) ; 10(2)2022 Feb 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1702761

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic led to the implementation of digital psychiatry (DP), resulting in the need for a new skilled healthcare workforce. The purpose of this study was to investigate the level of training, knowledge, beliefs, and experiences of young mental health professionals and medical students in DP. An ad hoc cross-sectional survey was administered and descriptive analyses, Student's t and ANOVA tests were conducted, together with an exploratory factor analysis, bivariate correlations and linear regression. Most of the sample (N = 239) declared that DP was never discussed within their academic training (89.1%), mainly revealing an overall lack of knowledge on the issue. Nevertheless, subjects mostly declared that DP represents a valuable therapeutic tool in mental health (80%) and that their training should include this topic (54.4%). Moreover, most subjects declared that digital interventions are less effective than face-to-face ones (73.2%), despite the emerging evidence that being trained in DP is significantly associated with the belief that digital and in-person interventions are comparable in their effectiveness (p ≤ 0.05). Strong positive correlations were found between the knowledge score (KS) and perceived significance index (PSI) (r = 0.148, p < 0.001), and KS and Digital Psychiatry Opinion (DPO) index (r = 0.193, p < 0.001). PSI scores statistically significantly predicted KS total scores (F(1, 237) = 5.283, R2 = 0.022, p = 0.022). KS scores statistically significantly predicted DPO total scores (F(1, 237) = 9.136, R2 = 0.037, p = 0.003). During the current pandemic, DP represented an ideal response to the forced physical distancing by ensuring the advantage of greater access to care. However, this kind of intervention is still uncommon, and mental health professionals still prove to be skeptical. The lack of formal training on DP during the academic years could be a limiting factor.

14.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(3)2022 Jan 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1667143

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 pandemic and its related containment measures have been associated with increased levels of stress, anxiety and depression in the general population. While the use of digital media has been greatly promoted by national governments and international authorities to maintain social contacts and healthy lifestyle behaviors, its increased access may also bear the risk of inappropriate or excessive use of internet-related resources. The present study, part of the COVID Mental hEalth Trial (COMET) study, aims at investigating the possible relationship between social isolation, the use of digital resources and the development of their problematic use. A cross sectional survey was carried out to explore the prevalence of internet addiction, excessive use of social media, problematic video gaming and binge watching, during Italian phase II (May-June 2020) and III (June-September 2020) of the pandemic in 1385 individuals (62.5% female, mean age 32.5 ± 12.9) mainly living in Central Italy (52.4%). Data were stratified according to phase II/III and three groups of Italian regions (northern, central and southern). Compared to the larger COMET study, most participants exhibited significant higher levels of severe-to-extremely-severe depressive symptoms (46.3% vs. 12.4%; p < 0.01) and extremely severe anxiety symptoms (77.8% vs. 7.5%; p < 0.01). We also observed a rise in problematic internet use and excessive gaming over time. Mediation analyses revealed that COVID-19-related general psychopathology, stress, anxiety, depression and social isolation play a significant role in the emergence of problematic internet use, social media addiction and problematic video gaming. Professional gamers and younger subjects emerged as sub-populations particularly at risk of developing digital addictions. If confirmed in larger and more homogenous samples, our findings may help in shedding light on possible preventive and treatment strategies for digital addictions.


Subject(s)
Behavior, Addictive , COVID-19 , Video Games , Adult , Behavior, Addictive/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Internet , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Isolation , Young Adult
15.
Int J Ment Health Syst ; 15(1): 85, 2021 Dec 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1632918

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Pathways to care studies are feasible and tested means of finding the actual routes taken by patients before reaching proper care. In view of the predominance of nonprofessional service providers and the lack of previous large studies on pathways in Nepal, this multicenter study is needed. The aim of the study was to trace the various pathways and carers involved in mental health care; assess clinical variables such as the duration of untreated illness, clinical presentation and treatment; and compare geographically and culturally diverse landscapes. METHODS: This was a cross-sectional, convenience sampling study performed at 14 centers where new cases were being taken. The World Health Organization Study of the Pathways-to-Care Schedule was applied. The Nepali version of the encounter form was used. The data were collected between 17 September and 16 October 2020 and were analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). Additionally, perspectives from local investigators were collected and discussed. RESULTS: Most of the first carers were native/religious faith healers (28.2%), followed by psychiatrists (26%). The median duration for the first psychiatric consultation was 3 weeks. The duration of untreated illness was 30.72 ± 80.34 (median: 4) weeks, and the time taken for this journey was 94.99 ± 274.58 (median: 30) min. The longest delay from the onset of illness to psychiatric care was for epilepsy {90.0 ± 199.0 (median: 25.5)} weeks, followed by neurotic illness {22.89 ± 73.45 (median: 2)} and psychotic illness {10.54 ± 18.28 (median: 2)} weeks. Overall, most patients with severe mental illnesses (SMIs) had their first contact with faithhealers (49%), then met with medical doctors (13%) or psychiatrists (28%). Marked differences in clinical presentation surfaced when hilly centers were compared with the Terai belt. CONCLUSIONS: Faith healers, general practitioners and hospital doctors are major carers, and the means of educating them for proper referral can be considered. The investigators see several hindrances and opportunities in the studied pathways. The employment of more mental health professionals and better mental health advocacy, public awareness programs and school education are suggested strategies to improve proper mental health care.

16.
Front Psychiatry ; 12: 788139, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1597717

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the mental and physical health of the general population at any age, but it is expected to have a protracted and severe consequences for younger populations. The pandemic has had several consequences on mental health including anger and irritability, depressive symptoms and somatic complaints, insomnia, lack of motivation, and loneliness. In particular, loneliness and its related negative feelings are thought to be particularly pronounced during young adulthood because of the many social changes that young people deal with during this period of life. Therefore, it is essential to evaluate the type of impact of the pandemic on the mental health of young people and their levels of loneliness experienced during the first phase of the lockdown. Based on the largest Italian study on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of general population, in this paper we aim to: (1) describe the levels of loneliness in a national sample of Italian young adults aged 18-34 years, during the first wave of lockdown in 2020; (2) evaluate the clinical and socio-demographic differences in young adults reporting low vs. high levels of loneliness; (3) assess the role of clinical symptomatology, coping strategies, levels of resilience, and duration of lockdown as possible predictors of loneliness. The final sample consists of 8,584 people, mainly female (72.6%), single, with a mean age of 26.4 (±4.4) years. The mean score at the UCLA was 47.5 (±13.6), with 27% (N = 2,311) of respondents exceeding the cut-off for high levels of loneliness. High levels of loneliness were predicted by the presence of avoidant coping strategies, such as self-distraction (Beta coefficient, B = 0.369, 95% Confidence Interval, CI = 0.328-0.411), venting (B = 0.245, 95% CI = 0.197-0.293), denial (B = 0.110, 95% CI = 0.061-0.159), and emotional disengagement (B = 0.133, 95% CI = 0.080-0.185). Weeks of exposure to the pandemic were significantly associated with worsening of loneliness (p < 0.000). There is currently considerable interest in trying to reduce loneliness, both within the context of COVID-19 and more generally. Our results highlight that young people are at a higher risk of developing loneliness and suggest that more interventions and practical guidelines are needed.

17.
Front Psychiatry ; 12: 789344, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581145

ABSTRACT

The negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic on people with Eating Disorders (EDs) has been documented. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether a history of traumatic experiences during childhood or adolescence was associated with a higher degree of psychopathological worsening during COVID-19 related lockdown and in the following re-opening period in this group of people. People with EDs undergoing a specialist ED treatment in different Italian services before the spreading of COVID-19 pandemic (n = 312) filled in an online survey to retrospectively evaluate ED specific and general psychopathology changes after COVID-19 quarantine. Based on the presence of self-reported traumatic experiences, the participants were split into three groups: patients with EDs and no traumatic experiences, patients with EDs and childhood traumatic experiences, patients with EDs and adolescent traumatic experiences. Both people with or without early traumatic experiences reported retrospectively a worsening of general and ED-specific psychopathology during the COVID 19-induced lockdown and in the following re-opening period. Compared to ED participants without early traumatic experiences, those with a self-reported history of early traumatic experiences reported heightened anxious and post-traumatic stress symptoms, ineffectiveness, body dissatisfaction, and purging behaviors. These differences were seen before COVID-19 related restrictions as well as during the lockdown period and after the easing of COVID-19 related restrictions. In line with the "maltreated ecophenotype" theory, these results may suggest a clinical vulnerability of maltreated people with EDs leading to a greater severity in both general and ED-specific symptomatology experienced during the exposure to the COVID-19 pandemic.

18.
Asia Pac Psychiatry ; 13(4): e12501, 2021 Dec.
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.


Subject(s)
Education, Medical , Psychiatry , Cross-Sectional Studies , Curriculum , Health Personnel , Humans , Psychiatry/education
19.
Brain Sci ; 11(11)2021 Oct 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1488488

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic represents an unprecedented public health emergency, with consequences at the political, social, and economic levels. Mental health services have been called to play a key role in facing the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of the general population. In the period March-May 2020, an online survey was implemented as part of the Covid Mental Health Trial (COMET), a multicentric collaborative study carried out in Italy, one of the Western countries most severely hit by the pandemic. The present study aims to investigate the use of mental health resources during the first wave of the pandemic. The final sample consisted of 20,712 participants, mainly females (N = 14,712, 71%) with a mean age of 40.4 ± 14.3 years. Access to mental health services was reported in 7.7% of cases. Among those referred to mental health services, in 93.9% of cases (N = 1503 subjects) a psychological assessment was requested and in 15.7% of cases (N = 252) a psychiatric consultation. People reporting higher levels of perceived loneliness (OR 1.079, 95% CI 1.056-1.101, p < 0.001), practicing smart-working (OR 1.122, 95% CI 0.980-1.285, p = 0.095), using avoidant (OR 1.586, 95% CI 1.458-1.725, p < 0.001) and approach (OR 1.215, 95% CI 1.138-1.299, p < 0.001) coping strategies more frequently accessed mental health services. On the other hand, having higher levels of perceived social support (OR 0.833, 95% CI 0.795-0.873, p < 0.001) was associated with a reduced probability to access mental health services. The COVID-19 pandemic represents a new threat to the mental health and well-being of the general population, therefore specific strategies should be implemented to promote access to mental healthcare during the pandemic and afterwards.

20.
Brain Sci ; 11(9)2021 Sep 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1430781

ABSTRACT

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health are now well documented, however, few studies have been focused on the role of coping strategies and resilience in counterbalancing these detrimental effects. Data are derived from the COvid Mental hEalth Trial (COMET), a national multicentric trial carried out in the Italian general population. The final sample consisted of 20,720 participants, 53.1% (n = 11,000) of the sample reported low levels of resilience. Adaptive coping strategies and resilience levels did not have any significant protective impact on the levels of depressive, anxiety, and stress symptoms. Only self-distraction was a risk factor for poor mental health (Beta Coefficient, B = 0.1, 95% Confidence Interval, CI: 0.003 to 0.267 for stress symptoms; B = 0.2; 95% CI: 0.077 to 0.324 for anxiety symptoms and B = 0.2, 95% CI: 0.105 to 0.382 for depressive symptoms). High levels of resilience were predicted by adaptive coping strategies, such as acceptance (B = 1.8, CI 95% = 1.4-2.7). Exposure to the different weeks of lockdown, being infected by COVID-19, and being a healthcare professional did not influence the levels of resilience. Our findings should be carefully considered, since the low levels of resilience may represent the missing link between the pandemic and the current increase in mental health problems.

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