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Original Papers

Psychiatric morbidity among COVID-19 positive persons in Central Province, Sri Lanka: a cross-sectional study

Authors:

J. F. Mirza ,

Teaching Hospital, Peradeniya, LK
About J. F.
University Psychiatry Unit
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P. V. H. D. K. Wijayatilake,

Provincial Director of Health Services Office, Central Province, LK
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D. R. D. L. Ratnayake,

Provincial Director of Health Services office, Central Province, LK
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A. M. M. Godavitharana,

Teaching Hospital Anuradhapura, LK
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D. K. Amarasinghe,

Teaching Hospital, Kandy, LK
About D. K.
Psychiatry Unit
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T. M. P. D. M. Thennakoon,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About T. M. P. D. M.
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine
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T. N. Rajapakse,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About T. N.
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine
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P. H. S. Fernando

Provincial Director of Health Services Office, Central Province, LK
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Abstract

Background

The COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) infection has been reported to affect the physical and mental well-being of individuals due to its pathophysiology and associated strict control measures.

 

Aims

To explore the psychological morbidity and associated factors among the recently diagnosed SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals in Central Province, Sri Lanka.

 

Methods

A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among residents of the intermediate care centres (ICC) for COVID-19 infected patients in the Central Province, Sri Lanka from 06/05/2021 to 04/08/2021. The participants completed a questionnaire on sociodemographic details and were screened for symptoms of depression and anxiety using the Patient Health Questionnaire- 9 (PHQ-9) and the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7).

 

Results

Of the 419 participants, 18.6% and 11.2% met cutoffs for depression and anxiety respectively. None of the participants reported self-harm following the diagnosis of COVID-19 infection, but 4.5% reported having experienced suicidal ideas. On bivariate analysis, female sex (P=0.002), being older than 35 years (P=0.04) and the presence of non-communicable diseases in the participant (P=0.04) were significantly associated with symptoms of depression.

 

Conclusions

The findings of this study indicate that a proportion of people diagnosed with acute COVID-19 infection experience psychological symptoms. This indicates the need for increased awareness about mental health issues associated with COVID-19 and the provision of appropriate psychological support for individuals at risk.

How to Cite: Mirza, J.F., Wijayatilake, P.V.H.D.K., Ratnayake, D.R.D.L., Godavitharana, A.M.M., Amarasinghe, D.K., Thennakoon, T.M.P.D.M., Rajapakse, T.N. and Fernando, P.H.S., 2022. Psychiatric morbidity among COVID-19 positive persons in Central Province, Sri Lanka: a cross-sectional study. Sri Lanka Journal of Psychiatry, 13(2), pp.27–35. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljpsyc.v13i2.8375
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Published on 31 Dec 2022.
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