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1.
Int J Public Health ; 68: 1605839, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20241630

ABSTRACT

Objectives: To provide a thorough assessment of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the utilization of inpatient and outpatient mental healthcare in Switzerland. Methods: Retrospective cohort study using nationwide hospital data (n > 8 million) and claims data from a large Swiss health insurer (n > 1 million) in 2018-2020. Incidence proportions of different types of psychiatric inpatient admissions, psychiatric consultations, and psychotropic medication claims were analyzed using interrupted time series models for the general population and for the vulnerable subgroup of young people. Results: Inpatient psychiatric admissions in the general population decreased by 16.2% (95% confidence interval: -19.2% to -13.2%) during the first and by 3.9% (-6.7% to -0.2%) during the second pandemic shutdown, whereas outpatient mental healthcare utilization was not substantially affected. We observed distinct patterns for young people, most strikingly, an increase in mental healthcare utilization among females aged <20 years. Conclusion: Mental healthcare provision for the majority of the population was largely maintained, but special attention should be paid to young people. Our findings highlight the importance of monitoring mental healthcare utilization among different populations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mental Health Services , Humans , Female , Adolescent , Retrospective Studies , Switzerland/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics
2.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 20(11)2023 May 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20240590

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has further aggravated the burden of mental health and presents an opportunity for public health research to focus on evidence-based interventions appropriate for populations residing in resource-constrained, post-conflict settings. Post-conflict settings have a higher service gap in mental health and fewer protective factors, such as economic and domestic security. Post-conflict settings are defined as locations where open warfare has ended but resulting challenges have remained for years. A strong emphasis on the engagement of diverse stakeholders is needed to arrive at sustainable and scalable solutions to mental health service delivery. This review discusses mental health service delivery gaps in post-conflict settings, highlights the urgency of the matter in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and provides recommendations for service gaps from evidence-based case study exemplars with an implementation science lens using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) as guide to improving adaptation and uptake.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mental Health Services , Humans , Mental Health , Implementation Science , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics
3.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 20(10)2023 05 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20237188

ABSTRACT

A tele-mental health model called Head to Health was implemented in the state of Victoria, Australia to address the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a free centralized intake service that adopted a targeted approach with several novel elements, such as stepped care and telehealth. This study examines the views and experiences of clinicians and service users of the tele-mental health service in the Gippsland region of Victoria during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data from clinicians were obtained via an online 10-item open-ended survey instrument and from service users through semi-structured interviews. Data were obtained from 66 participants, including 47 clinician surveys and 19 service user interviews. Six categories emerged from the data. They were: 'Conditions where use of tele-mental health is appropriate', 'Conditions where tele-mental health may not be useful', 'Advantages of tele-mental health', 'Challenges in using tele-mental health', 'Client outcomes with tele-mental health', and 'Recommendations for future use'. This is one of a few studies where clinicians' and service users' views and experiences have been explored together to provide a nuanced understanding of perspectives on the efficacy of tele-mental health when it was implemented alongside public mental health services.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mental Health Services , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Mental Health , Pandemics , Victoria/epidemiology
4.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 23(1): 623, 2023 Jun 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20235773

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Remote mental health consultations were swiftly implemented across mental health services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Research has begun to inform future design and delivery of telemental health services. Exploring the in-depth experiences of those involved is important to understand the complex, multi-level factors that influence the implementation of remote mental health consultations. The aim of this study was to explore stakeholder perspectives and experiences of the implementation of remote mental health consultations during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ireland. METHODS: A qualitative study was conducted whereby semi-structured, individual interviews were undertaken with mental health providers, service users, and managers (n = 19) to acquire rich information. Interviews were conducted between November 2021 and July 2022. The interview guide was informed by the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR). Data were analysed thematically using a deductive and inductive approach. RESULTS: Six themes were identified. The advantages of remote mental health consultations were described, including convenience and increased accessibility to care. Providers and managers described varying levels of success with implementation, citing complexity and incompatibility with existing workflows as barriers to adoption. Providers' access to resources, guidance, and training were notable facilitators. Participants perceived remote mental health consultations to be satisfactory but not equivalent to in-person care in terms of quality. Views about the inferior quality of remote consultations stemmed from beliefs about the inhibited therapeutic relationship and a possible reduction in effectiveness compared to in-person care. Whilst a return to in-person services was mostly preferred, participants acknowledged a potential adjunct role for remote consultations in certain circumstances. CONCLUSIONS: Remote mental health consultations were welcomed as a means to continue care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their swift and necessary adoption placed pressure on providers and organisations to adapt quickly, navigating challenges and adjusting to a new way of working. This implementation created changes to workflows and dynamics that disrupted the traditional method of mental health care delivery. Further consideration of the importance of the therapeutic relationship and fostering positive provider beliefs and feelings of competence are needed to ensure satisfactory and effective implementation of remote mental health consultations going forward.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mental Health Services , Remote Consultation , Humans , Mental Health , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics
5.
BMC Psychiatry ; 23(1): 328, 2023 05 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2323011

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Social prescribing is a mechanism of connecting patients with non-medical forms of support within the community and has been shown to improve mental health and wellbeing in adult populations. In the last few years, it has been used in child and youth settings with promising results. Currently, pathways are being developed for social prescribing in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) to support children and young people on treatment waiting lists. The Wellbeing While Waiting study will evaluate whether social prescribing benefits the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people. METHODS: This study utilises an observational, hybrid type II implementation-effectiveness design. Up to ten CAMHS who are developing social prescribing pathways as part of a programme run across England with support from the Social Prescribing Youth Network will participate. Outcomes for children and young people receiving social prescribing whilst on CAMHS waiting lists will be compared to a control group recruited prior to the pathway roll-out. Questionnaire data will be collected at baseline, 3 months and 6 months. Primary outcomes for children and young people are mental health symptoms (including anxiety, depression, stress, emotional and behavioural difficulties). Secondary outcomes include: loneliness, resilience, happiness, whether life is worthwhile, life satisfaction, and service use. An implementation strand using questionnaires and interviews will explore the acceptability, feasibility, and suitability of the pathway, potential mechanisms of action and their moderating effects on the outcomes of interest, as well as the perceived impact of social prescribing. Questionnaire data will be analysed mainly using difference-in-differences or controlled interrupted time series analysis. Interview data will be analysed using reflexive thematic analysis. DISCUSSION: The Wellbeing While Waiting study will provide the first rigorous evidence of the impact of social prescribing for children and young people on waiting lists for mental health treatment. Findings will help inform the prioritisation, commissioning, and running of social prescribing in other CAMHS. To maximise impact, findings will be available on the study website ( https://sbbresearch.org ) and disseminated via national and international networks. TRIAL REGISTRATION: N/A.


Subject(s)
Mental Health Services , Mental Health , Adult , Child , Adolescent , Humans , England , Psychotherapy , Anxiety , Observational Studies as Topic
6.
PLoS One ; 18(5): e0285324, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2321953

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Access to quality mental health services in Ghana remains poor, yet little is known about the extent of the access gaps and provision of mental health services at the district level in Ghana. We aimed to conduct an analysis of mental health infrastructure and service provision in five districts in Ghana. METHODS: A cross-sectional situation analysis was conducted using a standardised tool to collect secondary healthcare data, supplemented by interviews with key informants, across five purposively selected districts in Ghana. The Programme for Improving Mental Health Care (PRIME) situation analysis tool was adapted to the Ghanaian context and used for data collection. RESULTS: The districts are predominantly rural (>60%). There were severe challenges with the provision of mental healthcare: there were no mental healthcare plans, supervision of the few mental health professionals was weak and unstructured, access to regular supplies of psychotropic medications was a major challenge, and psychological treatments were extremely limited given the lack of trained clinical psychologists. There were no available data on treatment coverage, but we estimate this to be <1% for depression, schizophrenia, and epilepsy across districts. Opportunities for mental health systems strengthening include: the commitment and willingness of leadership, the existence of the District Health Information Management System, a well-established network of community volunteers, and some collaboration with traditional and faith-based mental health service providers. CONCLUSION: There is poor mental health infrastructure across the five selected districts of Ghana. There are opportunities for strengthening mental health systems through interventions at the district healthcare organisation, health facility, and community levels. A standardised situation analysis tool is useful for informing district-level mental healthcare planning in low-resource settings in Ghana and potentially other sub-Saharan African countries.


Subject(s)
Mental Health Services , Humans , Ghana , Cross-Sectional Studies , Delivery of Health Care , Mental Health
7.
Eur Psychiatry ; 63(1): e61, 2020 05 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2313894

ABSTRACT

The current pandemic has forced many people into self-isolation and to practice social distancing. When people are physically isolated and distant from each other, technology may play a fundamental role by enabling social connection and reducing feelings of loneliness caused by this prolonged social isolation. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many mental health services worldwide have had to shift their routine face-to-face outpatient appointments to remote telepsychiatry encounters. The increased pressure on mental health services highlights the importance of community-led health-promotion interventions, which can contribute to preventing mental illness or their relapses, and to reduce the burden on health services. Patients with psychosis are particularly socially isolated, have sedentary lifestyles, and commonly face stigma and discrimination from the general population. At the same time, patients with psychosis value technology, are interested in, use and own smart-phones to digitally connect, and are satisfied with their use. Thus, among psychosocial interventions, a helpful resource may be "Phone Pal," a complex intervention which facilitates remote communication between volunteers and socially isolated patients with psychosis through different smart-phone tools. While "Phone Pal" has been originally developed for people with psychosis, it may also be useful to the wider population, helping to overcome the social isolation caused by physical distancing, particularly in these times of widespread isolation. "Phone Pal" may be a potential public health resource for society, providing important support to those that may need it the most, and possibly benefit most from it.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Loneliness/psychology , Mental Health Services , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Psychotic Disorders/psychology , Smartphone , Social Isolation/psychology , Telemedicine/methods , COVID-19 , Communication , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , Pandemics , Social Stigma , Telemedicine/instrumentation
8.
Psychiatr Q ; 94(2): 233-242, 2023 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2315879

ABSTRACT

We aimed to understand clinician perspectives on mental healthcare delivery during COVID-19 and the utility of tele-mental health services in carceral settings. A survey was administered in November 2022 through the American College of Correctional Physicians listserv. A nationwide sample of 55 respondents included 78.2% male (n = 43) and 21.8% female (n = 12), 49.1% active clinicians (n = 27) and 50.9% medical directors (n = 28), with a median of 12 and mean of 14.5 years working in carceral settings. Most agreed that mental telehealth services could serve as a stopgap amid infection prevention measures and resource-limited settings with an increasing role moving forward (80.0%, n = 44) but may not be sufficient to replace in-person services completely. Access to mental healthcare is vital in helping achieve optimal health during incarceration. Most clinicians in a nationwide survey report an essential role of mental telehealth in the future, although they vary in beliefs on the present implementation. Future efforts should further identify facilitators and barriers and bolster delivery models, particularly via e-health.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mental Health Services , Humans , Male , Female , Mental Health , Pilot Projects , Delivery of Health Care
10.
J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv ; 61(5): 11-16, 2023 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2314528

ABSTRACT

Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health conditions affecting pediatric populations. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition, recommends objective measurement of pediatric anxiety for evaluation of symptomatology and treatment response. The objective of the current review was to summarize recommendations and resources for measuring pediatric anxiety, and to quantify and characterize use of outcome measures for generalized anxiety in pediatric psychiatry. These findings represent an essential step toward understanding how and to what extent anxiety rating scales are used in pediatric psychiatry and where quality improvement initiatives may be needed. Education, training, and further research are warranted to optimize use of measurement-based care for generalized anxiety in pediatric psychiatry settings and to determine which scales are optimal for use in this context. [Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 61(5), 11-16.].


Subject(s)
Mental Health Services , Psychiatry , Humans , Child , Psychiatric Status Rating Scales , Anxiety/diagnosis , Anxiety Disorders/psychology
11.
BMC Med Ethics ; 24(1): 31, 2023 05 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2314407

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Mental healthcare users and patients were described as a particularly vulnerable group in the debate on the burdens of the COVID-19 pandemic. Just what this means and what normative conclusions can be derived from it depend to a large extent on the underlying concept of vulnerability. While a traditional understanding locates vulnerability in the characteristics of social groups, a situational and dynamic approach considers how social structures produce vulnerable social positions. The situation of users and patients in different psychosocial settings during the COVID-19 pandemic has not yet been comprehensively considered and ethically analyzed under the aspect of situational vulnerability. METHODS: We present the results of a retrospective qualitative analysis of a survey of ethical challenges in different mental healthcare facilities of a large regional mental healthcare provider in Germany. We evaluate them ethically using a dynamic and situational understanding of vulnerability. RESULTS: Difficulties in implementing infection prevention measures, restrictions of mental health services in favor of infection prevention, social isolation, negative health effects on mental healthcare users and patients, and challenges in implementing regulations on state and provider levels within the local specificities emerged across different mental healthcare settings as ethically salient topics. CONCLUSIONS: Applying a situational and dynamic understanding of vulnerability allows the identification of specific factors and conditions that have contributed to an increased context-dependent vulnerability for mental healthcare users and patients. These factors and conditions should be considered on the level of state and local regulations to reduce and address vulnerability.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mental Health Services , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Delivery of Health Care
12.
BMC Psychol ; 11(1): 147, 2023 May 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2313227

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic fundamentally impacted the way that mental health services were provided. In order to prevent the spread of infection, many new public health precautions, including mandated use of masks, quarantine and isolation, and closures of many in-person activities, were implemented. Public health mandates made it necessary for mental health services to immediately shift their mode of delivery, creating increased confusion and stress for mental health providers. The objective of this study is to understand the impact of pandemics on the clinical and personal lives of mental health providers working with children during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, March -June 2020. METHODS: Mental health providers (n = 98) were recruited using purposive sampling from a public health service in Canada. Using qualitative methods, semi-structured focus groups were conducted to understand the experiences of mental health service providers during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. RESULTS: Data from the focus groups were analysed and three main themes emerged: (1) shift to virtual delivery and working from home; (2) concerns about working in person; (3) exhaustion and stress from working through the pandemic. DISCUSSION: This study gave voice to mental health providers as they provided continuity of care throughout the uncertain early months of the pandemic. The results provide insight into the impact times of crisis have on mental health providers, as well as provide practical considerations for the future in terms of supervision and feedback mechanisms to validate experiences.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mental Health Services , Humans , Child , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Mental Health , Health Personnel
15.
J Adolesc Health ; 72(4): 616-622, 2023 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2308224

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: We tested a novel dot survey methodology at our clinic that provides sexual health services to youth ages 13 to 24. We conducted two interactive dot surveys to assess their feasibility and acceptability while gaining insight into patients' attitudes about mental health. METHODS: We adapted a dot survey approach to assess youths' familiarity with mental health and attitudes toward related services. We also assessed their attitudes toward participating in this survey method. All patients with scheduled appointments were eligible to participate. Participants used dot stickers to indicate their responses on survey posters displayed in the waiting room. RESULTS: Three hundred patients participated between June and September 2021 (150 participants/survey). About 95% of participants liked seeing others' responses to the dot surveys, and over 70% reported that the surveys made them think more about mental health. Over 90% would participate in future dot surveys at the clinic. Survey items with the most consensus among participants included that 74.5% "really agree" youth face barriers to accessing mental health services (n = 141, mean = 4.61, standard deviation = 0.79) and 87.1% "really agree" primary care providers should ask youth about their mental health (n = 139, mean = 4.81, standard deviation = 0.59). DISCUSSION: The dot surveys were effective at assessing patients' attitudes about mental health and feasible to conduct in our waiting room. Results confirmed that this survey method was well received among patients. Dot surveys can be adapted by other clinical settings to engage youth regarding their health-related attitudes.


Subject(s)
Mental Health Services , Humans , Adolescent , Young Adult , Adult , Pilot Projects , Surveys and Questionnaires , Attitude to Health
16.
BMC Health Serv Res ; 23(1): 357, 2023 Apr 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2305182

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Using Andersen's model of health care seeking behavior, we examined the predisposing, enabling, and need factors associated with mental health service use (MHSU) during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic across Canada. METHODS: The sample included n = 45,542 participants in the 5 established regional cohorts of the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow's Health (CanPath) and who responded to the CanPath COVID-19 health survey (May-December 2020), with complete data on MHSU. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were carried out to study MHSU as a function of predisposing, enabling, and need factors. Analyses were stratified by regional cohort. RESULTS: Among the need factors, individuals reporting moderate/severe symptoms of depression and anxiety and poorer self-rated mental health were more likely to report MHSU. Among the enabling factors, receipt of informational/financial/practical support was associated with increased MHSU. While income was not consistently associated with MHSU, reported decrease in income was marginally associated with reduced MHSU. Among the predisposing factors, identifying as female or other gender minority was associated with increased MHSU, as was the presence of past-year cannabis use. In contrast, older age and alcohol consumption were associated with reduced MHSU. CONCLUSION: Need factors were consistently associated with MHSU. Although income inequities in MHSU were not observed, changes such as reduced income during the pandemic may lead to barriers in accessing mental health services. Future research should focus on better identifying contextual enabling factors and policies that overcome financial barriers to MHSU.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mental Health Services , Humans , Female , Aged , Canada/epidemiology , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Mental Health
18.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 20(7)2023 03 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2304170

ABSTRACT

The mental health of fellowship-trained sports medicine physicians (FTSMPs) around the United States is a subject that needs additional exploration. Currently, there is little research exploring how FTSMPs address their mental health on a routine basis. Using the theory of secondary trauma stress to help navigate this study, the purpose of this expressive, all-purpose qualitative study is to improve the understanding of FTSMPs' perceptions of their mental health and the kinds of strategies used to manage these issues. This is a general qualitative study. All interviews were conducted via video communication platforms such as Zoom. The final sample included 35 FTSMPs: 25 men and 10 women. Data collection used a semi-structured interview approach. Data analysis was carried out using NVivo 12 qualitative data analysis software. Four themes emerged: mental health matters affect individual daily lives of FTSMPs; FTSMPs correlate mental health struggles with stress and anxiety; FTSMPs experience barricades when seeking support for mental health issues; and FTSMPs have poor mental health support-seeking behaviors. Results highlight openings for hospitals and private practice institutions, including producing a maintainable work-life equilibrium for FTSMPs and offering these FTSMPs access to mental health services. These recommendations may diminish exhaustion amongst several FTSMPs, a product detrimental to patients, providers, and hospitals.


Subject(s)
Mental Health Services , Physicians , Male , Humans , Female , Mental Health , Fellowships and Scholarships , Qualitative Research
19.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 20(7)2023 03 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2304164

ABSTRACT

(1) Background: This study examined the prevalence and correlates of factors associated with self-reported mental health service use in a longitudinal cohort of frontline health care workers (FHCWs) providing care to patients with COVID-19 throughout 2020. (2) Methods: The study comprised a two-wave survey (n = 780) administered in April-May 2020 (T1) and November 2020-January 2021 (T2) to faculty, staff, and trainees in a large urban medical center. Factors associated with initiation, cessation, or continuation of mental health care over time were examined. (3) Results: A total of 19.1% of FHCWs endorsed currently utilizing mental health services, with 11.4% continuing, 4.2% initiating, and 3.5% ceasing services between T1 and T2. Predisposing and need-related factors, most notably a history of a mental health diagnosis and distress related to systemic racism, predicted service initiation and continuation. Among FHCWs with a prior mental health history, those with greater perceived resilience were less likely to initiate treatment at T2. Descriptive data highlighted the importance of services around basic and safety needs (e.g., reliable access to personal protective equipment) relative to mental health support in the acute phase of the pandemic. (4) Conclusions: Results may be helpful in identifying FHCWs who may benefit from mental health services.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mental Health Services , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Health Personnel/psychology , Mental Health
20.
Balkan Med J ; 40(4): 262-270, 2023 07 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2303057

ABSTRACT

Background: The coronavirus disease-2019 pandemic has contributed to work-related psychosocial risks in healthcare workers. Aims: To evaluate the perceived need for mental health services and related factors in Turkish healthcare workers practicing in pandemic hospitals. Study Design: Cross-sectional study. Methods: Data were collected from face-to-face interviews with healthcare workers at 19 pandemic hospitals in 13 provinces between September and November 2021. The study survey included the evaluation of the perceived need for and utilization of mental health services in the previous year, as well as sociodemographic, health-related, and work-related characteristics, the General Health Questionnaire-12, the World Health Organization Quality of Life-BREF (WHOQoL-BREF) questionnaire, and the Fear of coronavirus disease-2019 scale (FCV-19S). Results: Of 1,556 participants, 522 (33.5%) reported a perceived need for mental health services, but only 133 (8.5%) reported receiving these services. Multiple logistic regression analysis of the perceived need for mental health services revealed significant relationships with lower age, female sex, being a current smoker, having a chronic disease, having a mental disorder, coronavirus disease-2019 contact within the last three months in settings other than the home or workplace, a positive coronavirus disease-2019 vaccination history, being a physician, being a non-physician healthcare professional, and coronavirus disease-2019 contact within the last three months at work. After adjustment for these characteristics, higher General Health Questionnaire-12 and FCV-19S scores and lower WHOQoL-BREF domain scores were related to the perceived need for mental health services in logistic regression analyses. Conclusion: The findings indicate a substantial need for mental health services amongst Turkish healthcare workers during the pandemic and outline participants' characteristics regarding high-priority groups for the intervention. Future research may focus on developing actions and evaluating their efficiency.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mental Health Services , Humans , Female , Cross-Sectional Studies , Pandemics , Turkey/epidemiology , Quality of Life , Health Personnel/psychology
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