Distress and Well-Being Among Psychiatric Patients in the Aftermath of the First COVID-19 Lockdown in Israel: A Longitudinal Study

Ariella Grossman-Giron, Dana Tzur Bitan*, Shlomo Mendlovic, Sharon Shemesh, Yuval Bloch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: Studies assessing the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on psychiatric patients have mostly focused on cross-sectional evaluations of differences in levels of distress. In this study, we aimed to assess changes in distress and well-being following the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak as compared with pre-pandemic levels, as well as potential predictors of symptomatic deterioration, among psychiatric outpatients treated in a public mental health hospital in Israel. Methods: Patients evaluated for distress and well-being before the pandemic (n = 55) were re-evaluated at the end of the first lockdown in Israel. Results: Analyses revealed a significant decrease in the patients’ sense of personal growth. Increases in distress were significantly associated with fear of COVID-19 beyond patient characteristics. Conclusion: These results suggest that the pandemic has a short-term effect on patients’ well-being, and that fear of the pandemic is associated with elevations in distress.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1604326
JournalInternational Journal of Public Health
Volume67
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • distress
  • psychiatric patients
  • public mental health
  • well-being

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