Adverse outcomes associated with recorded victimization in mental health electronic records during the first UK COVID-19 lockdown

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Abstract

Purpose: The impact of COVID-19 pandemic policies on vulnerable groups such as people with mental health problems who experience violence remains unknown. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of victimization recorded in mental healthcare records during the first UK lockdown, and associations with subsequent adverse outcomes. Methods: Using a large mental healthcare database, we identified all adult patients receiving services between 16.12.2019 and 15.06.2020 and extracted records of victimisation between 16.03.2020 and 15.06.2020 (first UK COVID-19 lockdown). We investigated adverse outcomes including acute care, emergency department referrals and all-cause mortality in the year following the lockdown (16.06.2020- 01.11.2021). Multivariable Cox regressions models were constructed, adjusting for socio-demographic, socioeconomic, clinical, and service use factors. Results: Of 21,037 adults receiving mental healthcare over the observation period, 3,610 (17.2%) had victimisation mentioned between 16.03.2020 and 15.06.2020 (first UK COVID-19 lockdown). Service users with mentions of victimisation in their records had an elevated risk for all outcomes: acute care (adjusted HR: 2.1; 95%CI 1.9–2.3, p < 0.001), emergency department referrals (aHR: 2.0; 95%CI 1.8–2.2; p < 0.001), and all-cause mortality (aHR: 1.5; 95%CI 1.1–1.9; p = 0.003), when compared to service users with no recorded victimisation. We did not observe a statistically significant interaction with gender; however, after adjusting for possible confounders, men had slightly higher hazard ratios for all-cause mortality and emergency department referrals than women. Conclusion: Patients with documented victimisation during the first UK lockdown were at increased risk for acute care, emergency department referrals and all-cause mortality. Further research is needed into mediating mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2022

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