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Associations Between COVID-19 Symptoms and Psychological Distress

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Ju-Wan Kim, Hee-Ju Kang, Min Jhon, Seunghyong Ryu, Ju-Yeon Lee, Seung-Ji Kang, Sook-In Jung, Il-Seon Shin, Sung-Wan Kim, Robert Stewart, Jae-Min Kim

Original languageEnglish
Article number721532
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
Volume12
DOIs
Accepted/In press20 Jul 2021
Published17 Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: Funding. The study was funded by a grant of National Research Foundation of Korea Grant (NRF- 2019M3C7A1031345) and was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and future Planning (NRF- 2020R1A2C2003472). RS is part-funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and King's College London. Funding Information: The study was funded by a grant of National Research Foundation of Korea Grant (NRF-2019M3C7A1031345) and was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and future Planning (NRF-2020R1A2C2003472). RS is part-funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College London. Publisher Copyright: © Copyright © 2021 Kim, Kang, Jhon, Ryu, Lee, Kang, Jung, Shin, Kim, Stewart and Kim. Copyright: Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

King's Authors

Abstract

Background: Hospital isolation for COVID-19 may cause significant psychological stress. The association between COVID-19 symptoms and psychological symptoms has not been systematically studied. We investigated the effects of telephonic intervention on the relationship between psychological symptoms and COVID-19 symptoms at the time of hospitalization and 1 week later.

Method: We screened 461 patients with COVID-19 for psychiatric symptoms from February 29, 2020, to January 3, 2021. In total, 461 patients were evaluated 2 days after admission, and 322 (69.8%) were followed 1 week later. To assess anxiety and depressive symptoms, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) was administered to patients once per week. The Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) and item 9 of the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-9) were used weekly to assess insomnia and suicidal ideation.

Results: Of 461 enrolled patients, we observed clinically meaningful psychological anxiety symptoms (in 75/16.3% of patients), depression (122/26.5%), insomnia (154/33.4%), and suicidal ideation (54/11.7%). Commonly reported COVID-19 symptoms are cough/sputum/sneezing (244, 52.9%), headache/dizziness (98, 21.3%), myalgia (113, 24.5%), and sore throat (89, 19.3%). Compared to baseline, significant improvements were found in anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation at 1 week. No significant group differences in ISI score were observed.

Conclusions: COVID-19 symptoms at baseline had a significant and persistent negative impact on anxiety and depression at admission and at 1 week after hospitalization. Early intervention is essential to improve the outcomes of patients with mental illness.

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