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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 95-100

Assessment and comparison of the mental health status of patients seeking psychiatry facilities in prelockdown and postlockdown period of the COVID-19 Pandemic: An ambispective study in a tertiary care center in a Hilly Region of North India

1 Department of Psychiatry, Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, Bhagat Phool Singh Government Medical College for Women, Sonipat, Haryana, India
3 Department of Radio Diagnosis, Maharishi Markendeshwar Medical College and Hospital, Solan, Himachal Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sunny Garg
Department of Psychiatry, Bhagat Phool Singh Government Medical College For Women Khanpur Kalan, Sonipat, Haryana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/amhs.amhs_64_21

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Background and Aim: The servicing and framework for mental health care accessible to population have been affected during the unprecedented times of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The new and almost exclusive method to maintain a therapeutic alliance with these patients has been the recently evolving telepsychiatry services. The main aim of the study is to assess and compare the mental health status of patients seeking psychiatry facilities in prelockdown and postlockdown period during the COVID-19 pandemic. Materials and Methods: This was a ambirespective study which was conducted in a tertiary care hospital in a hilly region of North India in which the registered data were analyzed between January 1, 2020 and March 21, 2020 (prelockdown phase) and from May 3, 2020 to September 30, 2020 (postlockdown phase, after the resumption of outpatient department services in the institute), to gather the information of patients about sociodemographic profile and clinical diagnosis on the basis of International Classification of Diseases-10. A total sample size of 1000 patients was included. Chi-square test and Student's t-test were used to compare the patient presentation before and after the lockdown periods. Results: Majority of the patients were male (66%) and within 19–60 years of age (85%–90%). The average age of the patients (39.17 years, standard deviation = 14.37) was significantly higher in postlockdown phase. As compared to prelockdown period (499 patients), a significantly (P < 0.001) lower number of patients diagnosed with substance use disorders and a significantly (P < 0.001) higher number of patients diagnosed with psychotic disorders along with anxiety disorders, availed the available psychiatry services in the period of COVID-19 pandemic (501 patients). Conclusions: Sudden cessation of the psychiatry services further precipitated the deterioration of mental health of the patients. There is an urgent demand for services to adapt to changing scenarios with emphasis on practical approaches to help the mentally ill people, especially in geographically difficult hilly areas.

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