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Purpose: The COVID-19 pandemic may have exacerbated ethnic health inequalities, particularly in people with multiple long-term health conditions, the interplay with mental health is unclear. This study investigates the impact of the pandemic on the association of ethnicity and multimorbidity with mortality/service use among adults, in people living with severe mental illnesses (SMI). Methods: This study will utilise secondary mental healthcare records via the Clinical Record Interactive Search (CRIS) and nationally representative primary care records through the Clinical Practice Interactive Research Database (CPRD). Quasi-experimental designs will be employed to quantify the impact of COVID-19 on mental health service use and excess mortality by ethnicity, in people living with severe mental health conditions. Up to 50 qualitative interviews will also be conducted, co-produced with peer researchers; findings will be synthesised with quantitative insights to provide in-depth understanding of observed associations. Results: 81,483 people in CRIS with schizophrenia spectrum, bipolar or affective disorder diagnoses, were alive from 1st January 2019. Psychiatric multimorbidities in the CRIS sample were comorbid somatoform disorders (30%), substance use disorders (14%) and personality disorders (12%). In CPRD, of 678,842 individuals with a prior probable diagnosis of COVID-19, 1.1% (N = 7493) had an SMI diagnosis. People in the SMI group were more likely to die (9% versus 2% in the non-SMI sample) and were more likely to have mental and physical multimorbidities. Conclusion: The effect of COVID-19 on people from minority ethnic backgrounds with SMI and multimorbidities remains under-studied. The present mixed methods study aims to address this gap.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2511-2521
Number of pages11
JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Issue number12
Early online date23 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


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