Severe COVID-19 increases risk of PTSD for family members- Study

Severe COVID-19 increases risk of PTSD for family members- Study

 

 

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) doesn’t only happen to war veterans.

 

According to a new study led by University of Colorado School of Medicine researchers published Monday; in the peer-reviewed academic journal JAMA Internal Medicine, families of patients in the intensive care unit who have COVID-19 face similar experiences of loss of control, anxiety, depression and PTSD; in what the researchers are calling a “second public health crisis.”

The team surveyed 330 people three months after their family members were admitted to the ICU with COVID-19; during the early days of the pandemic (February- July 2020).

 

Visitation restrictions at hospitals were implemented at the time to prevent the spread of the highly contagious and sometimes fatal virus.

The findings state that nearly two-thirds of those secluded from visiting their ill relative in ICU were suffering from stress-related disorders three months after their family member was hospitalized.

ALSO READ: Women less likely to recover from long COVID – Study

 

That’s more than double from pre-pandemic levels; the study states, when about 30% reported stress-related conditions.

 

The study also noted that distrust in hospitals increased among family members during the pandemic; but that more research is needed to determine whether this is linked to strict visitation restrictions.

“Our findings suggest that visitation restrictions may have inadvertently contributed to a secondary public health crisis: an epidemic of stress-related disorders among family members of ICU patients,” said Dr. Timothy Amass, assistant professor of medicine at the university and an author of the study.

The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically impacted mental health since its onset more than two years ago.

 

A previous study, conducted by Maccabi Health and the KI Institute, found that among Israeli teenagers there has been a 55% rise in eating disorders; a 38% rise in diagnoses of depression and a 33% rise in anxiety disorders since COVID-19 began.

 

A poll conducted by the Social Workers Union shows a similar trend; adding that 44% of social workers reported a rise in suicidal behavior among teens.

 

 

 

 

About The Author

Osigweh Lilian Oluchi is a graduate of the University of Lagos where she obtained a B.A (Hons) in English, Masters in Public and International affairs (MPIA). Currently works with 1stnews as a Database Manager / Writer. [email protected]

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