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Minerva Medica 2022 Mar 10

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4806.22.07847-8


language: English

Post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety symptoms in COVID-19 outpatients with different levels of respiratory and ventilatory support in the acute phase undergoing three months follow up

Marta FERRARIS 1, Marina MAFFONI 2 , Vincenzo DE MARZO 3, Antonia PIEROBON 2, Marinella SOMMARUGA 4, Cristina BARBARA 1, Annalisa PORCILE 1, Carmelo RUSSO 1, Lucio GHIO 1, Piero CLAVARIO 1, Italo PORTO 3

1 Cardiac Rehabilitation Center of Genoa, Azienda Sanitaria Locale, ASL 3 Genovese, Genoa, Italy; 2 Istituti Clinici Scientifici Maugeri, IRCCS, Psychology Unit of Montescano Institute, Pavia, Italy; 3 Cardiology Unit, DICATOV - Cardiothoracic and Vascular Department, IRCCS San Martino Hospital, Genoa, Italy; 4 Istituti Clinici Scientifici Maugeri IRCSS, Psychology Unit of Camaldoli Institute, Milano, Italy


BACKGROUND: The well-known COVID-19 pandemic totally transformed people’s lives, paving the way to various psychopathological symptoms. In particular, patients may experience a short- and long-term decreasing in their wellbeing. In this vein, the aim of this paper is to assess the COVID-19 patients’ psychopathological profile (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, distress, anxiety and depression symptoms), detecting possible differences linked to the ventilatory treatments.
METHODS: Outpatients who recovered from COVID-19 were asked to provide socio-demographic and clinical information, and to complete a brief psychological screening evaluation (Impact of Event Scale-Revised - IES-R, Depression Anxiety Stress Scale - DASS-21).
RESULTS: Overall, after informed consent, 163 Italian patients took part in this research. Of them, 31,9% did not undergo any ventilatory therapy, 27,6% undertook oxygen therapy; 28,2% underwent noninvasive mechanical ventilation and 12.3% received invasive mechanical ventilation. Although no statistically significant differences were revealed among patients stratified by spontaneous breathing or ventilatory therapies, they reported statistically significant more depression (4.5+5.2 vs 3.5+3.2; p=.017) and anxiety (4.3+4.5 vs 2.4+2.6; p<.00001) symptoms than normative groups. Moreover, patients experiencing COVID-19 disease as a trauma, complained statistically significant higher levels of depression, anxiety and stress symptoms than who did not describe a clinically relevant traumatic experience (p<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: Thus, this study suggests to healthcare professionals to consider COVID-19 experience as a potential real trauma for patients and underlines the necessity to define patients’ psychopathological profile in order to propose tailored and effective preventive and supportive psychological interventions.

KEY WORDS: Post traumatic stress disorder; Distress; Anxiety; Depression; COVID-19

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