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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 120-125

Assessment and Comparison of the Mental Health Status of Patients Seeking Psychiatry Facilities in Pre-lockdown and Post-lockdown Period During COVID-19 Pandemic: A Retrospective Cross-Sectional Study in a Tertiary Care Centre 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, Khanpur Kalan, Sonipat, Haryana, India
3 Department of Radio Diagnosis, Maharishi Markendeshwar Medical College and Hospital, Kumarhatti, Solan, Himachal Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sunny Garg
S/o Sh. Suresh Kumar, Bhagat Phool Singh Medical College for Women Khanpur Kalan, Sonipat-131305, Haryana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mamcjms.mamcjms_29_21

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Background: The servicing and framework for mental health care accessible to population have been affected during the unprecedented times of 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. Aim and Objectives: The main aim of the study was to assess and compare the mental health status of patients seeking available psychiatry facilities in pre-lockdown and post-lockdown period during COVID-19 pandemic. Methodology: This was a retrospective cross-sectional study that was conducted in a tertiary care hospital in a hilly region of North India. The registered data was analyzed between January 1, 2020 to March 21, 2020 to gather the information of patients about sociodemographic profile and clinical diagnosis on the basis of International Classification of Diseases-10. The retrieved data constituted 499 new consecutive patients during this period. Then in the post-lockdown phase after the resumption of OPD services in the institute (May 3, 2020), the data collection was initiated to collect a similar sample size of new consecutive patients (501). These data were collected over 151 days (May 3, 2020 to September 30, 2020). Results: A total number of 1000 patients were analyzed. Majority of the patients were male (66%) and within 19 to 60 years of age (85–90%). The average number of patients (3.31) seen per day was less and the average age of the patients (39.17 years, standard deviation = 14.37) was significantly higher in the post-lockdown phase. The most common diagnostic group consisted of neurotic/stress-related/somatoform disorders. As compared to the pre-lockdown period, 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. Conclusion: 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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