Mood Reactive Disorders among COVID-19 Inpatients: Experience from a Monocentric Cohort

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Med Princ Pract. 2021 Sep 28;30(6):550-556. doi: 10.1159/000518490. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: We aimed to investigate the presence and severity of depressive symptoms among coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) inpatients and any possible changes after their discharge.

SUBJECT AND METHODS: We collected data of patients admitted to the Infectious Disease Unit in Sassari, Italy, for COVID-19, from March 8 to May 8, 2020. The Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) was performed 1 week after admission (T0) and 1 week after discharge (T1). The cutoff point chosen to define the clinical significance of depressive symptoms was 20 (at least moderate).

RESULTS: Forty-eight subjects were included. Mean age was 64.3 ± 17.6 years, and 32 (66.7%) were male. Most frequent comorbidities were cardiovascular diseases (19; 39.6%) and hypertension (17; 35.4%). When performing BDI-II at T0, 21 (43.7%) patients reported depressive symptoms at T0, according to the chosen cutoff point (BDI-II = 20). Eight (16.7%) patients had minimal symptoms. Mild mood disturbance and moderate and severe depressive symptoms were found in 24 (50%), 14 (29.2%), and 2 (4.2%) patients, respectively, at T0. The comparison of the BDI-II questionnaire at T0 with T1 showed a significant improvement in the total score (p < 0.0001), as well as in 4 out of the 5 selected questions of interest (p < 0.05). Univariate analysis showed that kidney failure and the death of a roommate were significantly associated with severity of mood disorders.

CONCLUSION: Mood disturbances and depressive symptoms commonly occur among COVID-19 inpatients. Our results show that COVID-19 inpatients might be at higher risk for developing depressive reactive disorders and could benefit from an early psychological evaluation and strategies improving sleep quality.

PMID:34818250 | DOI:10.1159/000518490