Almost half of virus sufferers report depression

Mental health concerns flagged by 48% of those testing positive in new study
16-Feb-2021 10:45 AM EST, by Anglia Ruskin University

Newswise — Almost half of people testing positive for coronavirus have reported symptoms of depression, according to a new study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Researchers from Bangladesh, the United States and Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) in the UK carried out a cross-sectional survey of more than 1,000 Bangladeshi adult coronavirus patients over the course of one month.

A total of 48% of respondents were categorised as having moderate to severe depression, with a higher prevalence in those with persistent symptoms, low family income and poor health status.

A fifth of those surveyed reported having persistent COVID-19 symptoms, the most common of these being diarrhoea and fatigue. Around a quarter of patients had attempted to self-medicate their symptoms with over-the-counter medicines, rather than contact health services.

Co-author Professor Shahina Pardhan, of Anglia Ruskin University, said: "Our study found a high number of respondents suffering depression alongside their COVID-19 symptoms, particularly those who were more vulnerable.

"We know that the World Health Organisation has reported that mental health services across the world have been disrupted by the pandemic, and this study shows the pressing need for these services among those testing positive for the virus."

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