PTSD – Severe COVID-19 Infection

Angie Szumlinski Health, Studies

In a study published in JAMA Network, from April 21 to October 15, 2020, the post-acute care service assessed 381 white patients who had recovered from COVID-19 infection within 30-120 days, 166 (43.6%_ of whom were women with a mean age was 55.26. During acute COVID-19 illness, most patients were hospitalized, with a mean length of hospital stay of 18.41 days.

PTSD was found in 115 participants (30.2%), additional diagnosis in the total sample were depressive episode (66; 17.3%), hypomanic episode (3; 0.7%), generalized anxiety disorder (27 (7.0%), and psychotic disorders (1; 0.2%). Patients with PTSD were more frequently women (64; 55.7%), reported higher rates of history of psychiatric disorders (40; 34.8%) and delirium or agitation during acute illness (19; 16.5%), and presented with more persistent medical symptoms in the post-illness stage (more than 3 symptoms, 72; 62.6%).

Although the study had limitations, including the relatively small sample size, it is a single-center study that lacked a control group of patients attended to in the emergency department for other reasons. That is all fine however it should, at a minimum, make you stop and think. Do you have any residents who had severe COVID-19 and are now experiencing mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, etc.? If so, it might be worth having them evaluated by a psychiatrist to determine if the virus contributed to these disorders! Stay the course, stay well, mask up, get vaccinated and stay tuned!