One in three ICU Covid survivors suffers post-traumatic stress

One in three ICU Covid survivors suffers post-traumatic stress
CREDIT: Imperial College

One in three ICU Covid survivors suffers post-traumatic stress, according to a British study.

AND researchers have warned of the need to study further the mental health consequences of Covid infection, claiming “mental health services must be prepared to treat increasing numbers of people with PTSD symptoms”.

New research from Imperial College London and the University of Southampton, which surveyed more than 13,000 UK patients with experience of confirmed or suspected Covid-19, found that more than a third of patients put on a ventilator experience symptoms of PTSD.

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The study showed 35 per cent of hospitalised patients who required respiratory assistance with a ventilator reported extensive symptoms of PTSD, falling to 18 per cent of patients hospitalised without requiring a ventilator.

They found lower levels of reported symptoms of PTSD for patients given medical help at home (16 per cent) and patients who required no help at home but experienced breathing problems (11 per cent).

According to the researchers, the data collected from the online studies is helping to provide insights into the psychological impact of Covid-19.

Dr Adam Hampshire, from Imperial College London, said: “We can see that the pandemic is likely to be having an acute and lasting impact, including for a significant proportion of patients who remained at home with respiratory problems and received no medical help.

“This evidence could be important for informing future therapy and reducing the long-term health burden of this disease.”

And Professor Sam Chamberlain, from the University of Southampton, added: “This study adds to mounting evidence linking Covid-19 to population-level negative mental health effects and shows that these can be measured conveniently in the general population using innovative digital methodologies.”

The findings have been published in the journal BJPsych Open.

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