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EClinicalMedicine ; 35: 100854, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1198702


BACKGROUND: there is concern about the increased risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection, COVID-19 severe outcomes and disparity of care among patients with a psychiatric disorder (PD). Based on the Italian COVID-19 death surveillance, which collects data from all the hospitals throughout the country, we aimed to describe clinical features and care pathway of patients dying with COVID-19 and a preceding diagnosis of a PD. METHODS: in this cross-sectional study, the characteristics of a representative sample of patients, who have died with COVID-19 in Italian hospitals between February 21st and August 3rd 2020, were drawn from medical charts, described and analysed by multinomial logistic regression according to the recorded psychiatric diagnosis: no PD, severe PD (SPD) (i.e. schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, bipolar and related disorders), common mental disorder (CMD) (i.e. depression without psychotic features, anxiety disorders). FINDINGS: the 4020 COVID-19 deaths included in the study took place in 365 hospitals across Italy. Out of the 4020 deceased patients, 84 (2•1%) had a previous SPD, 177 (4.4%) a CMD. The mean age at death was 78.0 (95%CI 77.6-78.3) years among patients without a PD, 71.8 (95%CI 69.3-72.0) among those with an SPD, 79.5 (95%CI 78.0-81.1) in individuals with a CMD. 2253 (61.2%) patients without a PD, 62 (73.8%) with an SPD, and 136 (78.2%) with a CMD were diagnosed with three or more non-psychiatric comorbidities.When we adjusted for clinically relevant variables, including hospital of death, we found that SPD patients died at a younger age than those without a PD (adjusted OR per 1 year increment 0.96; 95% CI 0.94-0.98). Women were significantly more represented among CMD patients compared to patients without previous psychiatric history (aOR 1.56; 95% CI 1.05-2.32). Hospital admission from long-term care facilities (LTCFs) was strongly associated with having an SPD (aOR 9.02; 95% CI 4.99-16.3) or a CMD (aOR 2.09; 95% CI 1.19-3.66). Comorbidity burden, fever, admission to intensive care and time from symptoms' onset to nasopharyngeal swab did not result significantly associated with an SPD or with a CMD in comparison to those without any PD. INTERPRETATION: even where equal treatment is in place, the vulnerability of patients with a PD may reduce their chance of recovering from COVID-19. The promotion of personalised therapeutic projects aimed at including people with PD in the community rather than in non-psychiatric LTCFs should be prioritised.

Exp Ther Med ; 21(3): 244, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1073518


As one year is approaching since the beginning of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, it is important to acknowledge the detrimental effect that it is having on mental health at the individual, societal and public health levels. The current review presents the direct and indirect psychological impact of COVID-19 on the general public, as well as on vulnerable groups, including the elderly, the young, healthcare professionals, people with pre-existing mental health issues, those infected by COVID-19, homeless people and refugees. Important findings are discussed in the present review, including the social stigma in older people associated with portraying COVID-19 as the disease of the elderly, and the limited psychological impact of COVID-19 in the severely mentally ill, alongside the response of the mental healthcare systems globally to this unparalleled public health crisis. The important lessons to be learnt so far can help formulate individual mental health recommendations, as well as improved intervention and prevention public health strategies.

Ecancermedicalscience ; 14: ed102, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-615268


Cigarette smoking is one of the main preventable causes of cancers globally. At this time of global emergency, mental health professionals all over the world are joining hands with the public health and other healthcare communities to focus on acute measures to save lives from COVID-19. This has been particularly challenging in mental health hospital settings where numerous additional factors need to be considered, including difficulties of implementing social distancing, potential impacts of social isolation, increased stress levels and implications of all this on smoking. In this article, we will briefly discuss the prevalence of smoking in mental health patients, especially in those in mental health hospital settings and also what is the possible impact of COVID-19 pandemic in these people. Then we will go through the main reasons as to why encouraging smoking cessation in mental health patients is so important and measures we can take for supporting mental health patients quit smoking even during COVID-19 times. The smoking cessation interventions have a direct bearing on preventing future cancers and achieving smoking cessation among cancer patients in this already disadvantaged group.