Risk Factors for Relapse in People with Severe Mental Disorders during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Multicenter Retrospective Study
Sánchez Guarnido, Antonio José
Herruzo Cabrera, Javier
Severe mental disorders
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Background: Evidence suggests that different variables associated with the COVID-19 pandemic may increase the risk of relapse in people with Severe Mental Disorders (SMDs). However, no studies have yet looked closely at the different risk factors involved to determine their influence on the worsening of these patients’ illnesses. Objective: To analyze which variables related to the COVID-19 pandemic have increased the risk of relapse in patients with SMDs. Method: A multicenter retrospective cohort study in which data were collected from 270 patients with mental disorders who had been under follow-up in day hospitals during the year 2020. Results: The proportion of full mental health inpatient admissions was significantly higher in those who lost their employment (40.7% vs. 18.1%; p = 0.01), in those who were not receiving psychotherapy interventions (33.9% vs. 16.6%; p = 0.006), and in those who were not receiving occupational therapy (25.7% vs. 13.6%: p = 0.013). Significant associations were detected between urgent mental health consultations, the number of COVID-19 symptoms (B = 0.274; p = 0.02), and the low-income group (1.2424 vs. 0.4583; p = 0.018). Conclusions: COVID-19 symptoms and certain consequences of the pandemic, such as loss of employment, economic hardship, and loss of interventions, have brought about clinical worsening in people with SMDs. Knowledge of these factors is important for health-related decision-making in future outbreaks or pandemics.