Int J Psychiatry Clin Pract. 2022 Dec 23:1-5. doi: 10.1080/13651501.2022.2158108. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the impact of COVID-19 pandemic (COVID-19-P) on clinical and health organisational variables of patients evaluated by Liaison Psychiatry (LP).
METHODS: Revision of all collaboration requests (CR) to LP for patients hospitalised in a Portuguese General Hospital during the second wave of COVID-19-P, from 1 October to 31 December of 2020. Medical charts were analysed and selected variables were compared with those of the homologous non-pandemic period. Data were statistically analysed.
RESULTS: There was a 22.3% decrease in the number of CR in 2020. The most frequently given reasons for CR were depressive symptoms, psychomotor agitation, and difficulties in adapting to the disease in both years. However, 5.9% more patients reported suicidal ideation in 2020. The hospitalisation length before CR was smaller in 2020 than in 2019 (9 vs 11). There was a higher proportion of patients followed in a psychiatric consultation and previously taking psychotropic medication before hospitalisation in 2020 than in 2019. After the assessment, the trend was that both groups did not meet diagnostic criteria for any disorder and no pharmacological adjustment was needed.
CONCLUSION: This study highlights the need to better characterise the indirect repercussion of COVID-19-P, and focus on the prevention and treatment of mental illness particularly in adverse contexts.Key PointsFewer collaboration requests to liaison psychiatry during the second wave of COVID-19;Collaboration requests were made earlier in the hospitalisation;For patients with more medical comorbidities, psychiatric history, and psychotropic medication;Most because of depressive symptoms and more with suicidal ideation;Fewer collaboration requests to liaison psychiatry during COVID-19;Made earlier in the hospitalisation;For patients with more medical comorbidities, psychiatric history, and medication;Most because of depressive symptoms and more with suicidal ideation.