Published: 2021-08-27

Impact of lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic on psychiatric patients

R. Bhuvaneswari, Chandini Raj S. N., Neethu Raj, Sakthivel Vaiyapuri, K. C. Muraleedharan


Background: There was sudden reorganization of services during lockdown due to COVID-19. Care of psychiatric patients was in threat due to closure of inpatient department and conversion of hospitals into COVID treatment centres.

Methods: List of follow-up patients not attending our outpatient department during lockdown was obtained. They were contacted through telephone. Evaluation was done with Brief psychiatry rating scales (BPRS) and WHODAS2 scales. Statistical analysis of obtained data was done.

Results: Comparison of BPRS total score, WHODAS domain scores and total score between outpatients and inpatients was done using independent samples ‘t’ test. It was found to be statistically significant (p<0.05). Anxiety and distractibility are the more prominent symptoms in majority of psychiatry patients.

Conclusions: Psychiatric patients needs safe place, with people to talk and to take care of daily activities. It is highly recommended urgent need of creating awareness program on COVID-19 pandemic which targets this vulnerable population. It is essential to provide continued psychiatric intervention using tele-psychiatric platform and ensure their social support using community mental health services during the pandemic. A standard protocol on the management of patients with serious mental illness during an infectious disaster should be developed.


Psychiatric patients, Lockdown, COVID-19, BPRS, WHODAS

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