The Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic in Psychiatric Outpatient Visits in Abu Dhabi – A Retrospective Study
- COVID-19 Pandemic; Psychiatric Outpatient Visits; Abu Dhabi; Retrospective Study
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Introduction: Coronavirus pandemics has affected mental health services around the globe. A marked reduction in psychiatric admission and emergency visits were reported recently. With regards to outpatient services, there was an adoption of tele-psychiatry in mental health facilities in many countries.
Objectives: To examine the impact of COVID-19 pandemics on the psychiatric outpatient visits in the largest Psychiatric Hospital in Abu Dhabi, UAE, during the month of April 2020.
Methodology: A descriptive retrospective study of medical records of all patients attended the general adult psychiatry clinic in the month of April 2020.
Results: 1,050 patients were included in the analysis. The sample consists of 55.9% males. The mean age was 40.7 years. The predominant ethnicity was Arab (88.3%). The most prevalent diagnosis was depressive disorder 32.7%. Only 1.6 % patients attended the clinic as new appointments. Tele-assessment was conducted in 64% (N=672) visits. 9.3 % reported to be in relapse during April. Patient with schizophrenia showed the lowest relapse rate 5.7%. Only 8.5% had taken PCR COVID test, with two patients tested positive.
Conclusion: The great shift to tele-assessments and the service of medications home delivery were the main reason for maintaining the service in the psychiatric outpatient settings.
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