Frailty is associated with long-term physical deterioration after COVID-19. Mental health recovery has been less well investigated. Early studies have shown minimal effect from the virus, although studies have not focused on whether people living with frailty may have different psychiatric outcomes. We aimed to examine the effect of living with frailty on mental health outcomes one year after hospital with COVID-19.

We undertook a multicentre cross-sectional study of people admitted with COVID-19. We assessed quality of life (ICECAP-O and MRC), psychiatric symptoms including: generalised anxiety (GAD-7), depression (Patient Health Questionnaire-9), and trauma (Trauma Screening Questionnaire). Frailty was measured using the Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS). We used a multivariable mixed-effects logistic and linear regression to examine the adjusted odds ratio (aOR) and adjusted mean difference (aMD).

From eight hospitals 224 participants consented. Median follow-up time from admission 358 days (IQR 153-418), mean age 63.8 (SD=13.7), 34.8% female (n=78), and 43.7% living with frailty (n=98 CFS 4-8). People living with frailty were significantly more likely to have symptoms of anxiety aOR=5.72 (95%CI 1.71-19.13), depression aOR=2.52 (95%CI 1.59-14.91), post-traumatic stress disorder aMD=1.16 (95%CI 0.47, 1.85), and worse quality of life aMD=1.06 (95%CI 0.76-1.36).

Patient-rated symptoms were captured rather than formal mental health diagnoses. CFS has not been validate in under 65-year-olds.

Living with frailty is associated with significant psychiatric morbidity and reduced wellbeing one year after COVID-19 hospital admission. We recommend clinical follow-up after COVID-19 for people living with frailty should include a psychiatric assessment.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 5 May 2022


  • Covid-19
  • Mental Health
  • Depression


Dive into the research topics of 'Frailty is associated with poor mental health 1 year after hospitalisation with COVID-19'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this