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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 4-9

A cross-sectional study of psychological distress in patients hospitalized for COVID-19


1 Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Gandhi Medical College and Hospital, Secunderabad, Telangana, India
2 Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Gandhi Medical College and Hospital, Secunderabad, Telangana, India
3 Postgraduate, Department of Psychiatry, Gandhi Medical College and Hospital, Secunderabad, Telangana, India
4 Professor and Head, Department of Psychiatry, Gandhi Medical College and Hospital, Secunderabad, Telangana, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ajay Kumar Joopaka
Department of Psychiatry, Gandhi Medical College and Hospital, Secunderabad - 500 003, Telangana
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/AMH.AMH_66_20

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Introduction: The novel coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) which started in China has now spread across the world. Many measures to contain the pandemic are being employed like hospitalization of patients tested positive, quarantine of contacts, and social distancing. The consequent social isolation and the uncertainty of the disease has led to psychological distress. Aims and Objectives: The aim was to study the psychological distress and its associated factors in patients hospitalized for COVID-19. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was done in a designated COVID center where patients tested positive were admitted from all over the state. A total of 222 hospitalized COVID-19 patients were screened using the Patient Health Questionnaire-4 and those who screened positive had their diagnosis confirmed by using the International Classification of Disease 10 criteria. Results: A total of 222 patients were screened of which 22.1% showed distress, 12.6% showed mild distress, and 9.5% moderate distress. Depression criteria were met by 5.5% and 3.2% had generalized anxiety disorder. Factors significantly associated with distress were deaths in the family and duration of hospitalization, whereas family members affected with COVID-19 were inversely related to psychological distress. Conclusion: Having a number of family members affected and simultaneously admitted in the same hospital seems to have acted as a buffer against psychological distress. However, deaths in the family due to COVID-19 and long duration of hospitalization were found to be factors associated with psychological distress. Efforts should be made to treat not only the physical health but also address the psychological distress in patients hospitalized for COVID-19.


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