Perspectives of patients, family members, health professionals and the public on the impact of COVID-19 on mental health

Evangeline Gardiner, Amanda Baumgart, Allison Tong, Julian H. Elliott, Luciano Cesar Azevedo, Andrew Bersten, Lilia Cervantes, Derek P. Chew, Yeoungjee Cho, Sally Crowe, Ivor S. Douglas, Nicole Evangelidis, Ella Flemyng, Peter Horby, Martin Howell, Jaehee Lee, Eduardo Lorca, Deena Lynch, John C. Marshall, Andrea Matus GonzalezAnne McKenzie, Karine Manera, Sangeeta Mehta, Mervyn Mer, Andrew Conway Morris, Saad Nseir, Pedro Povoa, Mark Reid, Yasser Sakr, Ning Shen, Alan R. Smyth, Tom Snelling, Giovanni F.M. Strippoli, Armando Teixeira-Pinto, Antoni Torres, Andrea K. Viecelli, Steve Webb, Paula R. Williamson, Laila Woc-Colburn, Junhua Zhang, Jonathan C. Craig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has seen a global surge in anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and stress. Aims: This study aimed to describe the perspectives of patients with COVID-19, their family, health professionals, and the general public on the impact of COVID-19 on mental health. Methods: A secondary thematic analysis was conducted using data from the COVID-19 COS project. We extracted data on the perceived causes and impact of COVID-19 on mental health from an international survey and seven online consensus workshops. Results: We identified four themes (with subthemes in parenthesis): anxiety amidst uncertainty (always on high alert, ebb and flow of recovery); anguish of a threatened future (intense frustration of a changed normality, facing loss of livelihood, trauma of ventilation, a troubling prognosis, confronting death); bearing responsibility for transmission (fear of spreading COVID-19 in public; overwhelming guilt of infecting a loved one); and suffering in isolation (severe solitude of quarantine, sick and alone, separation exacerbating grief). Conclusion: We found that the unpredictability of COVID-19, the fear of long-term health consequences, burden of guilt, and suffering in isolation profoundly impacted mental health. Clinical and public health interventions are needed to manage the psychological consequences arising from this pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Mental Health
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Jan 2022

Keywords

  • anxiety
  • COVID-19
  • depression
  • PTSD
  • SARS-CoV-2

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