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      Psychological Intervention and COVID-19: What We Know So Far and What We Can Do

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          Abstract

          The coronavirus COVID-19 and the global pandemic has already had a substantial disruptive impact on society, posing major challenges to the provision of mental health services in a time of crisis, and carrying the spectre of an increased burden to mental health, both in terms of existing psychiatric disorder, and emerging psychological distress from the pandemic. In this paper we provide a framework for understanding the key challenges for psychologically informed mental health care during and beyond the pandemic. We identify three groups that can benefit from psychological approaches to mental health, and/or interventions relating to COVID-19. These are (i) healthcare workers engaged in frontline response to the pandemic and their patients; (ii) individuals who will experience the emergence of new mental health distress as a function of being diagnosed with COVID-19, or losing family and loved ones to the illness, or the psychological effects of prolonged social distancing; and (iii) individuals with existing mental health conditions who are either diagnosed with COVID-19 or whose experience of social distancing exacerbates existing vulnerabilities. Drawing on existing literature and our own experience of adapting treatments to the crisis we suggest a number of salient points to consider in identifying risks and offering support to all three groups. We also offer a number of practical and technical considerations for working psychotherapeutically with existing patients where COVID-19 restrictions have forced a move to online or technologically mediated delivery of psychological interventions.

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          Most cited references 30

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          The psychological impact of quarantine and how to reduce it: rapid review of the evidence

          Summary The December, 2019 coronavirus disease outbreak has seen many countries ask people who have potentially come into contact with the infection to isolate themselves at home or in a dedicated quarantine facility. Decisions on how to apply quarantine should be based on the best available evidence. We did a Review of the psychological impact of quarantine using three electronic databases. Of 3166 papers found, 24 are included in this Review. Most reviewed studies reported negative psychological effects including post-traumatic stress symptoms, confusion, and anger. Stressors included longer quarantine duration, infection fears, frustration, boredom, inadequate supplies, inadequate information, financial loss, and stigma. Some researchers have suggested long-lasting effects. In situations where quarantine is deemed necessary, officials should quarantine individuals for no longer than required, provide clear rationale for quarantine and information about protocols, and ensure sufficient supplies are provided. Appeals to altruism by reminding the public about the benefits of quarantine to wider society can be favourable.
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            Immediate Psychological Responses and Associated Factors during the Initial Stage of the 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Epidemic among the General Population in China

            Background: The 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) epidemic is a public health emergency of international concern and poses a challenge to psychological resilience. Research data are needed to develop evidence-driven strategies to reduce adverse psychological impacts and psychiatric symptoms during the epidemic. The aim of this study was to survey the general public in China to better understand their levels of psychological impact, anxiety, depression, and stress during the initial stage of the COVID-19 outbreak. The data will be used for future reference. Methods: From 31 January to 2 February 2020, we conducted an online survey using snowball sampling techniques. The online survey collected information on demographic data, physical symptoms in the past 14 days, contact history with COVID-19, knowledge and concerns about COVID-19, precautionary measures against COVID-19, and additional information required with respect to COVID-19. Psychological impact was assessed by the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R), and mental health status was assessed by the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21). Results: This study included 1210 respondents from 194 cities in China. In total, 53.8% of respondents rated the psychological impact of the outbreak as moderate or severe; 16.5% reported moderate to severe depressive symptoms; 28.8% reported moderate to severe anxiety symptoms; and 8.1% reported moderate to severe stress levels. Most respondents spent 20–24 h per day at home (84.7%); were worried about their family members contracting COVID-19 (75.2%); and were satisfied with the amount of health information available (75.1%). Female gender, student status, specific physical symptoms (e.g., myalgia, dizziness, coryza), and poor self-rated health status were significantly associated with a greater psychological impact of the outbreak and higher levels of stress, anxiety, and depression (p < 0.05). Specific up-to-date and accurate health information (e.g., treatment, local outbreak situation) and particular precautionary measures (e.g., hand hygiene, wearing a mask) were associated with a lower psychological impact of the outbreak and lower levels of stress, anxiety, and depression (p < 0.05). Conclusions: During the initial phase of the COVID-19 outbreak in China, more than half of the respondents rated the psychological impact as moderate-to-severe, and about one-third reported moderate-to-severe anxiety. Our findings identify factors associated with a lower level of psychological impact and better mental health status that can be used to formulate psychological interventions to improve the mental health of vulnerable groups during the COVID-19 epidemic.
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              Fair Allocation of Scarce Medical Resources in the Time of Covid-19

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                finchausti@riojasalud.es
                Journal
                J Contemp Psychother
                J Contemp Psychother
                Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy
                Springer US (New York )
                0022-0116
                1573-3564
                27 May 2020
                : 1-8
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Mental Health, Servicio Riojano de Salud, Logroño, Spain
                [2 ]GRID grid.4305.2, ISNI 0000 0004 1936 7988, Centre for Applied Developmental Psychology, Clinical and Health Psychology, School of Health in Social Science, , University of Edinburgh, ; Edinburgh, Scotland
                [3 ]GRID grid.22098.31, ISNI 0000 0004 1937 0503, Department of Psychology, , Bar-Ilan University, ; Ramat-Gan, Israel
                [4 ]Centro Di Terapia Metacognitiva Interpersonale, Rome, Italy
                [5 ]Centro de Salud Espartero, Unidad de Salud Mental Infanto-Juvenil, Avda. Pío XII, 12 Bis, 26003 Logroño, La Rioja Spain
                Article
                9460
                10.1007/s10879-020-09460-w
                7250659
                © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020

                This article is made available via the PMC Open Access Subset for unrestricted research re-use and secondary analysis in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for the duration of the World Health Organization (WHO) declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic.

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