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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 202-210

A Study on Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Persons with Preexisting Psychotic Disorder, their Coping Strategies, and Compliance with Preventive Measures

1 Department of 1Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick Medical, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Mamta Sood
Department of Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi - 110 029
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/wsp.wsp_88_20

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Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted persons with preexisting psychiatric disorders negatively. There is a lack of studies on the impact on people with preexisting psychotic disorder. Aims: We studied the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown on patients with a preexisting psychotic disorder and whether they were following the recommended preventive measures for COVID-19. We also studied coping strategies used by them and their caregivers. We compared persons with first-episode psychosis (FEP) and chronic psychotic disorders (CPD). Methodology: The study sample was a part of the National Institute of Health Research Psychosis Research Group cohort. The subjects belonged to two groups: FEP consisted of patients with the first episode of psychosis, with the duration of illness ≥3 months and ≤2 years, and CPD group consisted of patients with psychosis, with the duration of illness ≥2 years. They were interviewed telephonically on a semistructured questionnaire. Thematic analysis was done to identify coping strategies. Results: Fifty patients were interviewed: 24 in the FEP (26·12 ± 8·0 years) and 26 in the CPD group (34 ± 7.5 years). Forty-six (92%) patients reported difficulty in access to hospitals and 32 (64%) had difficulty in contacting a doctor. Eight (16%) of them reported worsening of symptoms and 12 (24%) reported irregular adherence to treatment. The two groups differed significantly on doing household chores, occupational functioning, and financial issues. The majority of them used emotion-focused coping strategies. Three-fourth (79.1%) of the patients in the FEP group were following all four recommended preventive measures, whereas, in the CPD group, three-fourths (73.1%) were able to follow only one measure. Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic had impacted FEP and CPD groups differently. CPD group could follow recommended preventive measures less frequently than FEP.

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