To evaluate the relationship between traumatic aspects of the COVID-19 emergency and clinical correlates in a sample of consecutive outpatients in a Community Mental Health setting in Milan, Italy.
One hundred and forty subjects aged between 18 and 75 years were assessed with the Clinical Global Impression – Severity (CGI-S), Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS-18), the 22-item Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R) and the Self Report Questionnaire (SRQ-20). Data analysis were performed using SPSS version 16.0. Basic statistics were used to describe the demographic and clinical characteristics of the participants. The associations between sociodemographic and clinical variables were explored first by performing Pearson’s correlation analysis followed by multivariate regression. IES-R total score was used as the dependent variable while sociodemographic variables, SRQ-20, CGI-S and BPRS total score were used as independent variables.
A considerable proportion of participants reported symptoms of distress measured by IES-R: 47 (33.6%) mild, 45 (32.1%) moderate and 37 (26.4%) severe. SRQ-20 total score was positive in 82 (58.6%) patients, particularly in the female population (p = 0.009) with an age between 45-65 years (p = 0.020). In multiple regression analysis, being actively working (Beta = 0.15, p = 0.03) and SRQ-20 (Beta = 0.56, p = 0.00) significantly predicted IES-R total score.
Our data evidenced high level of distress among patients in contact with mental health services during Covid-19 emergency period suggesting the importance of maintaining continuous monitoring for a careful assessment of their condition from both a psychopathological and medical point of view.