The 114th meeting of the Journal Club of the Department of Health in Emergencies and Disasters has held on Tuesday, July 28.
In this meeting, Khadijeh Akbari, Ph.D. student of Health in Emergencies and Disasters, reviewed and criticized an article entitled COVID-19 pandemic and mental health consequences: Systematic review of the current evidence.
The authors of the article are Nina Vindegaard and Michael Eriksen Benros from the Copenhagen Research Centre for Mental Health - CORE, Copenhagen University Hospital, and The Department of Immunology and Microbiology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. The article published in the journal of Brain, Behavior, and Immunity (IF = 6.633) in 2020.
Despite much attention to general medical complications during the COVID-19 pandemic, less research has evaluated the potential direct effect on the mental health of SARS-CoV-2 and its neurotropic potential. On the other hand, there is a growing concern over the indirect effects of the pandemic on general mental health.
This study was a systematic review, and Studies identified by searching the database PubMed. Papers published in English included in this review. The publication period was unlimited. The search performed on May 10, 2020. The authors systematically searched the studies which measuring complications and symptoms of COVID 19 disease-related mental disorders among infected patients and non-infected groups. They divided into patients with a history of mental illness, health care workers, and non-healthcare workers (public).
After reviewing 43 studies, only two studies evaluated confirmed patients, and two of these studies conducted on patients with mental disorders, 20 on health care workers, and 19 on the public. Ultimately, 18 cases of these studies were case-control studies, and the other documents (n=25) did not have a control group.
Two studies in patients confirmed with COVID-19 indicated high levels of stress symptoms after PTSS injury (96.2%) and presented significantly higher levels of depressive symptoms (p=0.016). Furthermore were reported worsened symptoms in patients with preexisting psychiatric disorders. Studies conducted on health care workers revealed symptoms such as increased depression, anxiety, mental distress, and reduced quality of sleep. On the other hand, studies conducted on the public showed low psychological well-being and higher scores of anxiety and depression concerning the time before the COVID 19 pandemic. Various factors were associated with a higher risk of mental disorders, including female gender, etc.
Accordingly, future research should focus on evaluating the direct neuropsychiatric consequences and the indirect effects on mental health, aiming to improve treatment and mental health care planning, and take preventive measures during potential subsequent pandemics.
Under the supervision of the professors of the department, Dr. Abbas Ostadtaghizadeh, and Dr. Kiyoumars Allahbakhshi, and the participation of students, the meeting was done. Finally, different aspects of the article investigated in terms of content and method.