Consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on admissions to general hospital psychiatric wards in Italy: Reduced psychiatric hospitalizations and increased suicidality

Osmano Oasi, Maurizio Pompili, Stefano Vicari, Marco Tobia Mario Boldrini, Anna Marina Clerici, Vittorio Lingiardi, Lara Malvini, Chiara Rossi, Tommaso Boldrini, Paolo Girardi, Massimo Clerici, Andreas Conca, Chiara Creati, Giuseppe Di Cicilia, Giuseppe Ducci, Federico Durbano, Carlo Maci, Antonio Maone, Giuseppe Nicolò, Mauro PercudaniGian Marco Polselli, Alessandro Rossi, Silvia Salcuni, Federica Tarallo, Antonio Vita, Stefano Barlati, Francesco De Bertoldi, Giulia Carnaghi, Giovanni Lelli Chiesa, Alice Dell'Erba, Maria Giuseppa Elmo, Leonardo Monaco, Denise Erbuto, Rodolfo Luigi Pessina, Maria Pontillo, Francesco Riggio, Mario Santorelli, Arianna Schiano Lomoriello, Stefano Maria Tamorri, Paola Venturini

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista

Abstract

Aims: The present investigation aimed at evaluating differences in psychiatric hospitalizations in Italy during and after the lockdown due to the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), compared to the same periods in 2018 and 2019. Methods: We obtained and analyzed anonymized data on psychiatric admissions (n = 4550) from 12 general hospital psychiatric wards (GHPWs) in different Italian regions (catchment area = 3.71 millions of inhabitants). Using a mixed-effects Poisson regression model, we compared admission characteristics across three periods: (a) March 1–June 30, 2018 and 2019; (b) March 1–April 30, 2020 (i.e., lockdown); and (c) May 1–June 30, 2020 (i.e., post-lockdown). Results: During the COVID-19 lockdown, there was a 41% reduction (IRR = 0.59; p < 0.001, CI: 0.45–0.79) in psychiatric admissions in the enrolled GHPWs with respect to the 2018 and 2019 control period. Conversely, admission rates in the post-lockdown period were similar to those observed in the control period. Notably, a consistent and significant reduction in psychiatric hospitalizations of older patients (aged >65 years) was observed in the lockdown (40%; IRR = 0.60; 95% CI: 0.44–0.82) and post-lockdown (28%; IRR = 0.72; 95% CI: 0.54–0.96) periods. Long-stay admissions (>14 days) increased (63%; IRR = 1.63; 95% CI: 1.32–2.02) during the lockdown and decreased by 39% thereafter (IRR = 0.61; 95% CI: 0.49–0.75). A significant 35% increase in patients reporting suicidal ideation was observed in the post-lockdown period, compared to the rate observed in the 2018 and 2019 control period (IRR = 1.35; 95% CI: 1.01–1.79). Conclusion: The COVID-19 lockdown was associated with changes in the number of psychiatric admissions, particularly for older patients and long-stay hospitalizations. Increased admission of patients reporting suicidal ideation in the post-lockdown period merits special attention. Further studies are required to gain insight into the observed phenomena.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)1-8
Numero di pagine8
RivistaPROGRESS IN NEURO-PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY &amp; BIOLOGICAL PSYCHIATRY
Volume110
DOI
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Suicidal Ideation
  • General hospital psychiatric ward
  • Hospital admission
  • Psychiatric hospitalization
  • Suicidality
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Communicable Disease Control
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychiatric Department, Hospital
  • Young Adult
  • Emergency psychiatric department

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