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Mental health concerns in outpatients during COVID-19 pandemic: Comparison between psychiatric and general hospital clinics in an Indian population

Nilamadhab Kar, MD, DPM, DNB, MRCPsych, Satyakam Mohapatra, MD, Tikina Behera, MBBS, Sujata Sahoo, MBBS

Abstract


We intended to compare mental health concerns in patients attending a general hospital clinic with that of patients attending a psychiatric clinic during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. We specially wished to know about the perceived stress, worries, possibility of anxiety and depression, and the quality of life (QOL) of the patients. In a cross-sectional study, we used two screening questions for depression, Generalised Anxiety Disorder-2 (GAD-2) scale for anxiety, Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) for stress, nature and degree of worries in a 0–10 scale, and QOL in a 1–10 scale. Majority (75.5 percent) of outpatients had moderate to high level of stress, 76.5 percent were screen positive for depression, and 42 percent for anxiety. Psychiatric patients had significantly higher perceived stress, level of worry, and lower QOL to those with physical illness and were screen positive for depression (99 percent v 54 percent) and anxiety (68 percent v 16 percent), respectively. Patients with major physical illnesses had significantly higher stress levels and anxiety compared with those without. Fear of getting the infection, loss of job, and financial issues were the major worries along with social stigma. The results highlighted the need for screening mental health concerns in general hospital and psychiatric outpatients during the COVID-19 pandemic and facilitate appropriate interventions.


Keywords


anxiety, COVID-19, depression, outpatient, physical illness, psychiatry, psychological stress

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5055/jem.0661

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