COVID-19 Resource Center
COVID-19 Resource Center
Disclosures: One study author reports personal fees from Angelini Spa, Janssen and Lundbeck outside the submitted work. The other authors report no relevant financial disclosures.
February 18, 2021
1 min read
Save

One-third of ED-admitted COVID-19 patients may experience PTSD

Disclosures: One study author reports personal fees from Angelini Spa, Janssen and Lundbeck outside the submitted work. The other authors report no relevant financial disclosures.
You've successfully added to your alerts. You will receive an email when new content is published.

Click Here to Manage Email Alerts

We were unable to process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this issue please contact customerservice@slackinc.com.

Nearly one-third of patients with severe COVID-19 had PTSD after acute infection, according to results of a research letter published in JAMA Psychiatry.

“Previous coronavirus epidemics were associated with PTSD diagnoses in post-illness stages, with meta-analytic findings indicating a prevalence of 32.2% (95% CI, 23.7-42),” Delfina Janiri, MD, of the department of psychiatry at the Gemelli University Hospital in Italy, and colleagues wrote. “However, information after severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is piecemeal. We aimed at filling this gap by studying a group of patients with [COVID-19] who sought treatment at the [ED], most of whom required hospitalization, eventually recovered, and were subsequently referred to a post-acute care service for multidisciplinary assessment.”

emergency blur
Source: Adobe Stock

The investigators analyzed data of 381 consecutive patients presenting to the ED with SARS-CoV-2 and who had recovered from COVID-19 infection. All patients were white, 43.6% were women and the mean age was 55.26 years. Participants received a comprehensive and interdisciplinary medical and psychiatric assessment that included data on demographic, clinical, psychopathological and COVID-19 characteristics. Trained psychiatrists used the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale for DSM-5 to diagnose PTSD, and they used the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-5 to make additional diagnoses.

Results showed 81.1% of participants were hospitalized during acute COVID-19 illness, with a mean length of hospital stay of 18.41 days. The researchers noted PTSD among 115 (30.2%) participants. Additional diagnoses in the total sample were depressive episode (17.3%), hypomanic episode (0.7%), generalized anxiety disorder (7%) and psychotic disorders (0.2%). Those with PTSD were more likely to be women (55.7%), report higher rates of history of psychiatric disorders (34.8%) and delirium or agitation during acute illness (16.5%) and to present with more persistent medical symptoms in the post-illness stage (62.6%). Factors linked to PTSD included sex, delirium or agitation and persistent medical symptoms, according to logistic regression.

“This study had limitations, including the relatively small sample size and cross-sectional design, as PTSD symptom rates may vary over time,” Janiri and colleagues wrote. “Furthermore, this was a single-center study that lacked a control group of patients attending the [ED] for other reasons. Further longitudinal studies are needed to tailor therapeutic interventions and prevention strategies.”