Frequency and predictors of coronavirus anxiety in psychiatric patients and healthy people and its effect on treatment compliance during the pandemic
Nesihan Cansel, Ahmet Unal, Saadet Ekici Onsoz, Mustafa Akan, Lale Gonenir Erbay, Sahide Nur Ipek Melez
Coronavirus-19 has caused anxiety around the world. Although anxiety is inherent in pandemics, it can have serious consequences when it is chronic and disproportionate. It is possible situation affect the vulnerable population with mental illness more. This study compares the frequency and predictors of coronavirus anxiety among psychiatric patients and the healthy group and evaluates its effects on treatment compliance. A cross-sectional study was conducted on 285 psychiatric patients who applied to the psychiatry outpatient clinic and 86 healthy people between 15 July – 30 September 2020. Coronavirus Anxiety Scale was applied with a questionnaire that investigated demographic characteristics, experiences with the pandemic and treatment compliance. Coronavirus anxiety was detected in 8.4% of the patients and 9.3% of the healthy group. 34% of the patients didn’t come to checkups regularly, the most common reason for this was their fear of the pandemic (56.7%). Their anxiety scores were also high. Female gender, comorbid disease and being quarantined were associated with an increased coronavirus anxiety scale score in patients while advanced age, retirement, divorced/widowed, having children, having comorbid disease, being tested for COVID-19 PCR and losing a relative due to COVID-19 increased the score in healthy group. Coronavirus anxiety disrupts the compliance of psychiatric patients with treatment and may cause the disease to exacerbate. Therefore, there is a need to develop special treatment approaches in the follow-up of psychiatric patients.
Key words: Coronavirus anxiety, COVID-19, pandemic, mental health, treatment compliance