Lack of mental health support during the pandemic for those with chronic health problems

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A new scope review found that those with chronic health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and autoimmune conditions, not only have a higher risk of severe COVID-19 infection, but are also more likely to of suffering from anxiety, depression or substance use during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The aim of the review was to address knowledge gaps related to the prevention and management of mental health responses among those with chronic illnesses. The findings, recently published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, were based on a thorough review of 67 studies in Chinese and English.

“Levels of anxiety, depression, and substance use used to be more common among those with physical health problems, and these impacts on mental health also interfered with their treatment plans,” says lead author Karen Davison, chair Research Fellow of Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

Physics i they often occur together, possibly due to factors such as shared underlying inflammatory responses and the psychosocial effects of living with a health condition, according to the study authors. Economic instability, , and reduced access to health and wellness it also increased the likelihood of mental health problems among those with a chronic physical condition.

“These circumstances, which became more frequent during the pandemic, are likely to affect an individual’s ability to cope,” says co-author Professor Simon Carroll, of the University of Victoria’s sociology department.

The rapid spread of misinformation during the pandemic may also have influenced reactions that can worsen mental health.

“Lower levels of health literacy have been associated with poorer physical and mental health,” says Brandon Hey, Policy and Research Analyst, Policy, Programs and Priorities for COVID 19 of the Mental Health Commission of Canada. “The public health community needs to address this, which can educate and support social and conventional media to provide accurate information.”

The results and practical recommendations of this review can inform the work of policy makers, professionals, and researchers seeking to provide better mental health support to people with chronic illnesses.

“Several promising practices include detecting mental health issues, resolving factors such as income support, using digital resources to provide care, and providing services such as patient browsing, online group visits, , and social prescription, “says co-author Maura MacPhee, a professor of nursing at the University of British Columbia.

University of Toronto Social Work Professor Esme Fuller-Thomson, who is also director of the Institute for Life and Aging, says we now have the opportunity to give policies, programs and other efforts to strengthen people’s mindset. . “Multi-integrated interventions can help provide the support needed to address the complex needs of different populations and foster resilience in times of need. crisis, “she says.


One in four adults with depression or anxiety had no mental support during the pandemic


More information:
Karen M. Davison et al, Interventions to support mental health among those with health conditions at risk for severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): A comprehensive review of the English literature and Chinese, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (2021). DOI: 10.3390 / ijerph18147265

Citation: Little support for mental health during the pandemic for those with chronic health problems (2021, July 20) recovered on July 20, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-07-dearth- mental-health-pandemic-chronic.html

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