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J Clin Psychiatry ; 82(2)2021 Mar 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2066787


BACKGROUND: Most research evaluating telehealth psychiatric treatment has been conducted in outpatient settings. There is a great lack of research assessing the efficacy of telehealth treatment in more acute, intensive treatment settings such as a partial hospital. In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, much of behavioral health treatment has transitioned to a virtual format. In the present report from the Rhode Island Methods to Improve Diagnostic Assessment and Services (MIDAS) project, we examined the effectiveness of our partial hospital program (PHP). METHOD: The sample included 207 patients who were treated virtually from May 2020 to September 2020 and a comparison group of 207 patients who were treated in the in-person partial program a year earlier. Patients completed self-administered measures of patient satisfaction, symptoms, coping ability, functioning, and general well-being. RESULTS: For both the in-person and telehealth methods of delivering partial hospital level of care, patients were highly satisfied with treatment and reported a significant reduction in symptoms and suicidality from admission to discharge. On the modified Remission from Depression Questionnaire, the primary outcome measure, both groups reported a significant (P < .01) improvement in functioning, coping ability, positive mental health, and general well-being. A large effect size of treatment (Cohen d > 0.8) was found in both treatment groups. The only significant difference in outcome between the patients treated in the different formats was a greater length of stay (mean ± SD of 13.5 ± 8.1 vs 8.5 ± 5.0 days, t = 7.61, P < .001) and greater likelihood of staying in treatment until completion (72.9% vs 62.3%, χ2 = 5.34, P < .05) in the virtually treated patients. CONCLUSIONS: Telehealth partial hospital treatment was as effective as in-person treatment in terms of patient satisfaction, symptom reduction, suicidal ideation reduction, and improved functioning and well-being. The treatment completion rate was higher in the telehealth cohort, and several patients who were treated virtually commented that they never would have presented for in-person treatment even if there was no pandemic. Telehealth PHPs should be considered a viable treatment option even after the pandemic has resolved.

Behavior Therapy , COVID-19 , Emergency Services, Psychiatric , Mental Disorders , Telemedicine , Adult , Behavior Therapy/methods , Behavior Therapy/trends , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Emergency Services, Psychiatric/methods , Emergency Services, Psychiatric/trends , Female , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Infection Control/methods , Male , Mental Disorders/diagnosis , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Mental Disorders/therapy , Mental Health/trends , Patient Safety , Patient Satisfaction , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine/methods , Telemedicine/organization & administration , United States/epidemiology
Psychiatry Res ; 293: 113463, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-779558


BACKGROUND: The current COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent containment measures are leading to increasing mental health issues both in psychiatric patients and general population. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to compare the number and characteristics of emergency psychiatric consultations during the phase 1 of lockdown with respect to the same period in 2019 in a Department of Mental Health and Addiction (DMHA) located in Lombardy region. METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study including subjects consecutively admitted to two psychiatric emergency rooms of DMHA in Monza, Lombardy, Italy. Sociodemographic data, clinical characteristics, referred symptoms, diagnosis and information on patients' illness course following the emergency consultations were collected. No subjects were excluded for the purposes of the study. RESULTS: Between February 21st and May 3rd 2020, there was a marked reduction in the number of psychiatric emergency consultations, if compared to the same period of 2019. Subjects who were living in psychiatric residential treatment facilities, had cannabis addiction and a diagnosis of obsessive-compulsive disorder were significantly more likely to present to emergency psychiatric consultations during lockdown. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 epidemic may have a negative impact on more vulnerable individuals. Strategies to enhance relapse prevention and the use of alternative approaches as e-health technologies should be promoted.

Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Emergency Services, Psychiatric/methods , Mental Health , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Adult , Behavior, Addictive/epidemiology , Behavior, Addictive/psychology , Behavior, Addictive/therapy , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Emergency Service, Hospital , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder/epidemiology , Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder/psychology , Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2